Dog Eat Dog
β€’
πŸ“Έ by @heather.n.eaton

Juvenile black-tailed prairie dog cannibalizing a younger relative.

For this species of prairie dog, cannibalism is the leading cause of mortality among pups – 40% of baby black-tailed prairie dogs are killed by their close relatives, and the reason behind it is pegged to the fierce competition for resources (food) these animals experience.

Taking new offspring off the board favors the brood of the murderous dogs by increasing the likelihood of securing resources for themselves. The mothers who lose their kin also shed their maternal instincts and revert back to a me-first mentality, beginning with consuming their now dead children, which temporarily reduces competition even further.

This behavior has been documented in two species so far – the black-tailed prairie dog and the utah prairie dog, which doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, it’s just means it’s not a regular occurrence.

#natureismetal
#keepnaturemetal

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