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Why some animals eat their young?

We don’t know why some animals eat their young, but this has been going on since the dawn of time. The behavior is found in numerous species, including birds, mammals, and insects. There are many reasons why an animal might turn down its own offspring.

Some animals may be trying to save energy by not having to feed more mouths that they can’t afford to feed; others may want a new bloodline and will therefore kill all existing siblings or else eat only one per litter; some mothers might even “kill” their babies so that they don’t try to compete for food later on in life.

The animal kingdom is a fascinating place, and it seems that nothing could be crueler than the mother eating her own babies. But recent studies have shown this to actually happen in some species of animals! Previous research has only explained why or how these mothers eat their young without explaining what causes them to do so- until now. 

A new study looked at several different factors leading up to cannibalism, such as changes in hormone levels during pregnancy, maternal age, and previous experiences with raising offspring while also observing other related behaviors like infanticide by males outside of reproduction season, which they are not involved in themselves.

Why do animals eat their own children?

Researchers are still trying to understand the reason why animals sometimes kill their own babies, but it’s generally believed that they might be satisfying a need for food and nutrients. Some scientists believe this is done because there aren’t enough resources or mates in the area where these organisms live.

Other reasons include removing any offspring who may not survive due to illness, as well as getting rid of young that would take too long maturing before being able to reproduce themselves on their own. In some cases, when eggs have been eaten by parents, it was likely in order to protect them from predators looking for easy prey!


Filial infanticide is a term for when an animal kills and/or eats its own young. There are some species, such as hamsters or birds, that do this more often than others, like snakes or bugs. Hamsters have been found to kill every single one of their offspring in the first two months following birth, while other animals only kill half of them right away before they stop killing any after a period has passed by.

It’s difficult to say why these creatures decide on doing so since there isn’t much information about it, but we can guess based on what little we know from looking at how closely related certain families with higher rates of filial cannibalism are compared to those who don’t commit filicide very often.

Reasons why animals eat their own children
To full fill their nutritional needs:

When female fish or other pet animals give birth, they must start nursing and care for their newborns – something they can only do if they are already well-nourished and healthy. So when a mother bear gives birth to four cubs, two of which are too weak or deformed, she will kill the weaker one so that her family is stronger in numbers as well as stomach size.

To gain reproductive opportunities:

Male lions are known for their barbaric behavior. They often kill the cubs of other males so that they can mate with female animals and have a chance to father new babies in place of those killed by them.

Female lions become fertile again and mate with the same male lion who killed their cubs. 

Surviving female lions of a pride depend on males to maintain order in the pride, but if an outsider defeats or ousts one of these favored males, it is not uncommon for him to kill all other young members without exception – this includes any offspring he fathered from mating with females during his reign as well!

At such times when established fathers are overthrown by outsiders-turned-lion lords, there will be more than enough unsuspecting mothers waiting at home eager to bear new life once they too have recovered fertility after being deposed.

To eliminate competition among the babies:

The females of the animal kingdom are not only known for their maternal instincts. Many animals also have a murderous streak, and it could be due to various reasons such as limited resources or competition among them.

You may wonder why so many animal species practice infanticide. There are a ton of hypotheses as to the reasons, but it is important not to fall into stereotypes and instead try to understand each particular situation before coming up with an answer.


Animals are not evil, they just do what is natural. In this article, we have tried to outline some of the reasons why animals eat their young ones and hopefully help you understand that there will always be exceptions to every rule.