Sexual Conflict
πŸ“½ by @petergeraerdts

Bull hippo killing the old alpha’s offspring.

This bull hippo has presumably just taken over the heard, so that means any offspring fathered by the former alpha must die.

There are 2 reasons this happens:

When a mother hippo has a child, she has to take care of that child – which means she won’t be having any new children with the new alpha, and that is not gonna fly with him.

To the winner go the spoils, as they say.

The other reason is, this child carries the genes of the former lead bull, and the new one isn’t going to let his bloodline continue – let alone share resources with another child not of his ilk.

Sometimes, this is done by the mothers as well, when resources (like water) are super scarce and they can’t afford to share, they will kill off their dependents.

This practice, known as infanticide, is a mechanism employed by a wide array of mammals.

Lions, dolphins, baboons, bears, prairie dogs, meerkats, chimpanzees and otters are just some of the animals who have been observed doing this.



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