• Question: Would the same specics of animals feed of each other if there was nothing to eat?

    Asked by rymahalfaoui97 to Aggelos, Andrew, Eileen, Shane on 21 Nov 2012.
    • Photo: Eileen Diskin

      Eileen Diskin answered on 21 Nov 2012:

      Yep it definitely would – and its not actually all that uncommon in nature. Scientists think that there are at least 1,000 different animal species that do this! And its not only just because there is nothing else left to eat…some species just do it anyway, for all sorts of different reasons.

      Some of the animals that do this include the black widow spider, dragonflies, chimpanzees, pigs, cats, and different kinds of fish.

      This is something that usually, in the long term, means a better chance at survival for the animal species in general – even though it means sacrificing some of the individuals!

    • Photo: Andrew Jackson

      Andrew Jackson answered on 21 Nov 2012:

      yes! very often animals eat their own species – its called cannibalism.

      Many do it even when there is other food available too! One of the biggest cannibalism events occurs when locusts form massive swarms of millions and millions of locusts – Africa is a common place for these swarms. They go the huge marches and destroy farmers crops and basically most living things, both animals and plants that dont move out of the way. Whats cool about this, is that it is cannibalism that drives the swarm forward. The ones at the back basically chase the ones in front along, devouring them from behind! The ones in front are just running away from them and so the swarm marches on.