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Bad baboons


Scarcity drives some baboon males to attack and kill infants of their own kind.


Catherine Markham / Stony Brook University

"Desperate times lead to desperate measures," so the saying goes, and a study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B finds male baboons are no exception.

Some baboon males vying for a chance to father their own offspring expedite matters in a gruesome way – they kill infants sired by other males and attack pregnant females, causing them to miscarry, researchers report.

The behaviour reduces their waiting time to breed with pregnant and nursing females, who otherwise wouldn't become sexually available again for up to a year.

Curated content from the editorial staff at Cosmos Magazine.
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