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This is a study of the phenomenon of cannibalism in those animals known to prey upon and eat their own kind. Animal Cannibalism is structured in accordance with conventional taxonomy and ranges from microbes to mammals.
Where such information is available, the reasons for cannibalistic behaviour are presented for some 2000 species. These show that eating your own kind is very largely a result of the natural struggle for survival or procreation, and not an 'evil' aberration. The behaviours – unpleasant though it may appear – must be far more common in nature than might be imagined, and therefore, has probably evolved as an advantageous adaptation in many species.
Animal Cannibalism is unusual in its wide survey of cannibalism in nature and may be of use to animal breeders, conservationists, and those who study animal behaviour. Other readers with an interest in natural history, for whatever reason, may find useful information and some surprises in these pages. Even some very familiar household pets are included!