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Animal Cannibalism: The Dark Side of Evolution

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Author(s): David Soulsby

Availability: Available


About The Book

This is a study of the phenomenon of cannibalism in those animals known to prey upon and eat their own kind. The book 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.

The book 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!

Additional Information

Author Author(s): David Soulsby
Dimensions 25.5cm x 17cm x 4cm (HxWxD)
Extent 585 pages
ISBN 9780955501166
Book Type N/A



List of Tables v
List of Figures vii
About the Author viii
Preface and Acknowledgements ix
Introduction xi


Chapter 1. Micro-Organisms and Lower Invertebrate Groups 3
Jellyfishes and Anemones (Phylum Cnidaria or Coelenterata)
Worm-Like Animals

Chapter 2. Arthropods 15
Primitive Insects (Orders Thysanura and Diplura)
Dragonflies and Damselflies (Order Odonata)
Webspinners (Order Embioptera)
Earwigs (Order Dermaptera)
Grasshoppers, Locusts, and Crickets (Order Orthoptera or Saltatoria)
Cockroaches and Mantises (Order Dictyoptera)
Gladiators (Order Mantophasmodea)
Termites (Order Isoptera)
Bugs (Order Hemiptera)
Booklice (Order Psocoptera)
Thrips (Order Thysanoptera)
Lacewings, Ant-Lions, and Allies (Order Neuroptera)
Alderflies and Allies (Order Megaloptera)
Butterflies and Moths (Order Lepidoptera)
Caddis-Flies and Stoneflies (Order Trichoptera)
True Flies, Mosquitoes, and Allies (Order Diptera)
Fleas (Order Siphonaptera)
Scorpionflies and Hangingflies (Order Mecoptera)
Bees, Wasps, and Ants (Order Hymenoptera)
Beetles (Superorder Coleoptera)
Scorpions and Pseudoscorpions (Orders Scorpiones and Pseudoscorpiones)
Ticks and Mites (Subclass Acari)
Whip Spiders, True Spiders, Harvestmen, and Solpugids (Orders Amblypygi, Araneae, Opiliones, and Solpugida/Solifugae)
Copepods (Class Maxillopda)
Branchiopods (Class Branchiopoda)
Isopods and Amphipods (Orders Isopoda and Amphipoda)
Shrimps, Prawns, Lobsters, Crayfish, and Crabs (Orders Mysidacea, Stomatopoda, and Decapoda)

Chapter 3. Molluscs and Echinoderms
Gastropods and Bivalves (Class Gastropoda)
Cephalopods (Class Cephalopoda)


Chapter 4. Cannibalism in Palaeontology
Extinct Reptiles and Fishes

Chapter 5. Fishes
Cartilagenous Fishes (Various Orders)
Bony Fishes
Salmon and Allies (Order Salmoniformes)
Cod and Allies (Order Gadiformes)
Herrings and Allies (Order Clupeiformes)
Perches and Allies (Order Perciformes)
Flatfishes (Order Pleuronectiformes)
Pikes (Order Esociformes)
Carp and Allies (Orders Cypriniformes, Characiformes, and Siluriformes)
Toothcarps (Order Cyprinodontiformes)
Sticklebacks (Order Gasterosteiformes)
‘Mail-Cheeked’ Fishes (Order Scorpaeniformes)
Sturgeons (Order Acipenseriformes)
Eels (Order Anguilliformes)
Seahorses (Order Syngnathiformes)
Anglerfishes (Order Lophiiformes)

Chapter 6. Amphibians
Urodeles (Order Urodela or Caudata)
Anurans (Order Anura or Salienta)
Caecilians (Order Gymnophiona or Caecilia)

Chapter 7. Reptiles
Crocodilians (Order Crocodilia)
Tortoises and Turtles (Order Testudines or Chelonia)
Lizards and Snakes (Order Squamata)
The Tuatara (Order Rhynchocephalia or Sphenodontia)

Chapter 8. Birds
Raptors (Orders Falconiformes and Strigiformes)
Gulls and Allies (Order Charadriiformes)
Penguins (Order Sphenisciformes)
Pelicans, Storks, and Allies (Orders Pelecaniformes and Ciconiiformes)
Rails (Order Gruiformes)
Parrots (Order Psittaciformes)
Woodpeckers (Order Piciformes)
Pigeons (Order Columbiformes)
Passerines and Near-Passerines (Orders Passeriformes, Coraciiformes, and Cuculiformes)
Farmed and Game Fowl (Order Galliformes)
Aquatic Birds (Order Anseriformes)
Ostriches (Order Struthioniformes)

Chapter 9. Mammals
Marsupials (Orders Didelphimorpha and Dasyuromorphia)
Rodents (Order Rodentia)
Rabbits (Order Lagomorpha)
Insectivores (Orders Erinaceomorpha, Soricomorpha, and Afrosoricida)
Bats (Order Chiroptera)
Carnivores (Order Carnivora)
Cetaceans (Order Cetacea)
Ungulates (Orders Artiodactyla and Perissodactyla) and Near-Ungulates (Order Hyracoidea)
Tree-Shews (Order Scandentia)
Primates (Order Primates)

Summary and Conclusion
References for Part One (Invertebrates)
References for Part Two (Vertebrates)
General Index
Part One Species Index
Part Two Species Index