10 super cute animals that are also total cannibals

Birds do it. Bees do it. Even educated fleas do it. Let’s do it. Let’s eat our young?

1. Gerbils and Hamsters

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True story, you guys: When we were kids, my sister and I had these gerbils, Moon Unit and Dweezil. We go to New Hampshire overnight for skiing purposes or something, leaving them way more than enough food. We come back, and Moon Unit (who we didn’t even know was pregnant) has given birth to a litter of gross red baby gerbils… and there is a cage full of  tiny gerbil skulls and half eaten gerbil babies and all of the tears of all of the children in all of the world. I think I fainted.

Neither of us have any idea what became of Moon Unit and Dweezil. We never speak of it. It was a day shrouded in mystery and horror. Apparently, though, gerbils eating their babies is super common, which is probably why our mum didn’t want us to have them in the first place.

2. Sand Tiger Sharks*

Here, have some nightmares! Try to watch this whole thing without everything inside you wanting to die. It is impossible. You cannot do it. Because all you are able to think of is how terrible it would be if you were a Sand Tiger Shark and your embryos were eating each other inside your womb. It would clearly be the worst time ever.

I really hope that Japanese lady that wants to give birth to a shark and then eat it does not go with this particular breed.

*Ok fine, Sand Tiger Sharks are not necessarily cuddly and adorable, but cuddly and adorable is kind of new to me, so just bear with me here, ok?

3. Pigs

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This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy had roast beef, and this little piggy was eaten by it’s mother.

Approximately 5% of first time pig moms will indulge in “savaging”– an overt aggression towards their young, often involving cannibalistic infanticide.

4. Chickens

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AW! Wook at dat widdle chicklet wearing a jaunty cwocheted hat! So innocent, so sweet. Yet, that chicken may grow up to be a freaky cannibal. Chickens don’t just straight up eat each other, they just peck at one another, bite some flesh off and eat it while the other chicken is still alive. Like a snack. Also sometimes they eat their own eggs if they’re especially famished or not getting enough calcium.

5. Sea Squirts

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Sea squirts don’t eat their young. They don’t eat their fellow sea squirts… they eat themselves. Or their own brains to be precise. Basically, it attaches itself to a rock, eats it’s own brain and pretty much becomes a sea vegetable.

6. Rabbits

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Rabbits will eat their babies for a variety of reasons- usually because the mother is stressed out over something. However, if the father is kept around, he will eat the babies because he wants to mate with the mother again. Either that, or the Mommy Bunny will eat the Daddy Bunny’s penis. So you should probably keep them apart.

7. Praying Mantis

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The whole female praying mantis eating the head of her mate after banging is mostly a myth. Mostly. The lady mantises used in the original study of this behavior back in the 1800’s were starving, which is what accounted for that happening with such prevalence. However, given the fact that we live in a society that really likes the idea of women as soul sucking beasts, no one really cared that the study was faulty.

Recent studies have confirmed that this usually only happens when the female is totally starving. With one exception- the Mantis religiosa does need to remove it’s male partners head in order to ensure the implementation of eggs, because the male can’t ejaculate fast enough with it’s head on.

8. Polar Bears

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Unlike some of these other animals, the eating of their young is not the usual MO for polar bears. They have, however, kind of been forced into it recently due to global warming. Basically, the ice isn’t melting fast enough and they can’t get out to sea for food. So, there you go, jerks who deny global warming! You are basically murdering baby polar bears, and baby polar bears are freaking awesome.

9. Lions

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It probably should come as a surprise to no one that lions tend to kill and eat their own babies. This tends to happen more when there’s a new head of the Pride with something to prove, and who also wants to stave off any competition from younger male lions.

10. Honey Bees

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If you think your family is messed up, you should try being a bee sometime. They basically devour their own eggs to reduce the amount of possible genetic competitors. The Queen eats everyone’s eggs, and then the workers eat their siblings eggs in hopes that their own eggs will be more likely to survive.