Infanticide in Nonhumans
A set of aggressive behaviors destined toward the elimination of younglings, usually a dependent infant or hatchling. The attacker often obtains a fitness benefit by targeting the offspring of conspecifics. Due to the costs associated with losing a youngling, parents often employ an array of physiological and behavioral tactics to decrease the risk of infanticide.
Although nowadays research on nonhuman infanticide has lost most of its controversial nature, three decades ago studies on this subject generated heated debate concerning the adaptive function of eliminating infants (Sommer 2000). Due to the costs associated with producing and rearing offspring, killing younglings was interpreted as a pathological behavior with no apparent adaptive benefits. This...
- Mock, D. W. (2004). More than kin and less than kind: The evolution of family conflict. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Palombit, R. A. (2012). Infanticide: Male strategies and female counterstrategies. In J. C. Mitani, J. Call, P. M. Kappeler, R. A. Palombit, R. A, J. B. Silk, & J. B (Eds.), The evolution of primate societies (pp. 432–468). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Trivers, R. (1972). Parental investment and sexual selection (Vol. 136, p. 179). Cambridge, MA: Biological Laboratories, Harvard University.Google Scholar