animalmonkeymonkey story

Terrified to see the mother monkey eat the baby monkey mercilessly devour


For any species hoping to survive in the wild, the lifetime to-do list is agreeably brief: eat, mate, defend your turf and, above all, protect your young.

It’s that last one that seems the most primally encoded, and for good reason: it’s hardly possible to pass on your genes if your babies die before they’re old enough to have offspring of their own.

And yet not only do animals sometimes f ail to protect the young of their species — they often kill them themselves.


Infanticide is disturbingly common in nature. It’s typically committed by males that take over a pride or pack and kill whatever babies are present to make room for the ones they plan to father.

It’s not nearly as common for parents to behave murderously toward their own babies, and it’s much rarer still for a mother to be the attacker — especially among primates.

Now a study in the journal Primates has revealed that in a species of monkey known as mustached tamarins, the mamas can be a deadly menace indeed — and their infanticidal tendencies can provide some insight into human behavior too.


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