10 Surprising Animals That Eat Their Own Young

5 Min Read

Nature is full of incredible animals with fascinating behaviors. While we usually think of parents taking care of their babies, some animals have a surprising habit of eating their own young.

In this blog post, we’ll explore ten animals that do this and learn why they do it. Don’t worry, it’s a bit strange, but it’s all part of how they survive and live in the wild!

Animals That Eat Their Young

Sure, here are 10 animals that eat their babies:

1. Black Widow Spider (Latrodectus spp.)

The black widow spider is famous for its venomous bite. But did you know that sometimes the mommy spider animal eats her own babies? She does this when she needs more energy or when there isn’t enough food around. It’s like having a little snack to help her survive!

2. European Mantis (Mantis religiosa)

The female European mantis is a great hunter, but sometimes she eats her own babies too. When there isn’t enough food, she chooses to eat some of her little mantises to make sure the others have enough to eat and grow strong.

African Rock Python (Python sebae)

The African rock python is a big snake that protects her eggs. But sometimes, by mistake, she might eat her own hatchlings. It’s because she thinks they are prey. It’s a bit sad, but it’s just how she sees things in the wild.

Related: Why Do Animals Have Tails?

Hamsters (Cricetinae)

Hamsters are cute and cuddly, but some mommy hamsters eat their babies when they are stressed or scared. This helps the mommy hamster stay healthy and ready for more babies in the future.

Wolf Spiders (Lycosidae)

Wolf spiders are good mommies, but when there isn’t enough food or too many spiderlings, the mommy spider might eat some of her babies. This way, the ones left can grow strong and have a better chance of surviving.

Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)

The common cuckoo has a sneaky trick. She lays her eggs in other birds’ nests, and her baby cuckoo hatches early and pushes the other eggs or chicks out of the nest. This way, the baby cuckoo gets all the food and attention for itself.

Sand Tiger Sharks (Carcharias taurus)

Sand tiger sharks have a strange way of growing up. Inside their mommy’s belly, the biggest baby shark eats its smaller siblings so that only the strongest one is born. It’s like competition even before they are born!

Black Eagle (Ictinaetus malaiensis)

Black eagle chicks sometimes eat their younger brothers or sisters. This might sound mean, but it’s because they need more food to grow bigger and stronger. It’s like having a little snack to help them be the best they can be.

Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta)

Sometimes, when things are tough, mommy rhesus macaques might eat their babies. It’s because they don’t have enough food or can’t take care of them properly. They want to make sure their group stays healthy and safe.

Common Toad (Bufo bufo)

Common toads have a surprising habit too. Sometimes, the mommy toad eats her own eggs. It might sound strange, but it’s a way for her to make sure only the strongest ones survive and grow up to be healthy toads.


Nature is full of amazing animals with unique behaviors, even if some of them might seem strange to us. While it’s not something we usually see in our everyday lives, animals have their own reasons for eating their young. It’s all about surviving and making sure future generations have the best chance of thriving.

This blog post was inspired by a-z-animals

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