"Children are the flowers of life"? Infanticide in humans and animals
That is how you, Men often say and pompously declare that there is nothing more important than children for you. Is it so? And are you very different from Us Animals? Let's figure it out.
In the photo: I am with one of the foals of my herd
Personally, I treat cubs very well and often adopt foals, take care of them and protect them.
But still I have to admit that at Us, Animals, childhood is by no means the happiest and most carefree time. This is the time when you are lucky if you were not eaten, even if you are a Predator. We, Animals, alas, are quite widespread Infanticide- that is, the killing of cubs, sometimes even their own. You, People, may be horrified by this, but ... this horror will be, frankly, very hypocritical. Because you in this sense are almost worse off.
Cubs are in danger even before birth. For example, when a Zebra runs away from a lion, it can cause a miscarriage on the run to save its life. From a biological point of view, this is justified - the life of an adult is more valuable than the life of a cub, especially not yet born. Before you are horrified by such “rationalism,” find information on abortion statistics among People — and you do not save your life, but simply make it simpler and easier.
Relatives can kill the cub. For example, Meadow Dogs, cute rodents, live in colonies, help each other, warning about external enemies, and seem to adhere to the principle of "peace - friendship - chewing gum." But inside the colony, the kids are in danger: when the female leaves the hole to eat, for example, her sister can enter and eat a couple of cubs. At this time, some other relative may climb into the hole to the infanticide and eat one of her own children. This is due to competition for resources: it is my children who should eat well, and not someone else's. People do not have this? Yes Yes. Learn the story (especially of the royal and royal families - how they got rid of potential heirs to the throne there) or just read the criminal chronicle where they write about domestic violence.
And if there are very few resources, the mother herself can eat the cubs. In the end, she can give birth to a new baby, but if she dies of hunger, the offspring still will not survive, and her genes will not remain in the population. If you are going to tear your shirt on your chest and shout that the Man is not doing so, remember the inscription on the airplanes: “First put the oxygen mask on yourself, and then on the baby.”
Sometimes weak and underdeveloped cubs are destroyed. This was also accepted among your species - for example, in Sparta.
Of course, both Humans and Animals sometimes protect their children with great dedication. But from a biological point of view, it is not wise to do this at the cost of one's own life.
In the photo: I am with another foal, which I had to take care of in the absence of his mother. Oh, and I suffered from this tomboy !!!
Pets (for example, Cats or Dogs) can also kill their cubs, both actively (eating them) and passively (refusing to feed). This is often caused by extreme stress. In Humans, this is all the time - I'm talking about postpartum depression with withering maternal instinct, abandonment of children, and the like, which is lacking in numbers.
Another reason for the Infanticide is genetic selection. When "only my genes should spread further." This occurs both in harem animals (for example, lions), and in solitary (for example, bears). This also happens in Humans far more often than you would like to think.
Sometimes the goal of killing cubs is to control the number of sexes. Some Ants often destroy newborn Ant Boys. And in China and India, human girls are not honored.
And I'm not talking about all kinds of maniacs there, which among you, Man, are apparently invisible.
So how much do you Humans differ from Us Beasts?