Remember that version of Cinderella where the stepmother in order to make her daughter’s feet fit the slipper, chops off her toes? Or worse, remember the story of Medea, who in order to revenge her husband, kills her children? Or still worse, recall Procne, who killed her own son, boiled him, and served him for dinner. Images of these cruel mothers in literature might have come from nature. Some avian or animal mothers are chillingly brutal to their off-springs.
Cruelty, Thy Name Is Mother: Examples Of Ruthless Mothers In Natural World
The picture of the lioness grooming her cubs is touching. But the mother lioness is appallingly partial to her off-springs. She takes care of her female cubs alone and does not bat an eyelid, if the father lion, in order to avoid future competition, tears her male cubs to pieces.
The mother panda is as careless about her children as she is heavy. Weighing about 70-100 kg she often simply squashes her little children who weigh ridiculously little, from 80 to 140 gram. Little pandas often look for a warm place and crawl under their mother only to get crushed under her heavy weight.
When her little children fight for preeminence and life, the mother African Black Eagle stays indifferently aside letting one of her off-springs get killed by his stronger brother. Even when she lays two eggs and have two little eagles hatched, she allows the sibling strife to culminate in bloodshed and eventually always rear only one child.
The Mother Black Bear, unlike the African Black Eagle, has her maternal instinct aroused only when she gives birth to a couple of bears. She will gladly take care of a group of children. When only one bear is born, she, however, chases him away and leaves him to his own devises from the day he was born.
The mother cuckoo does not have even a modicum of a maternal instinct and never rears her chicks at all. She simply smuggles her eggs into other birds' nests and leaves them there to be reared by others. If little cuckoos hatch earlier than their stepbrothers and step sisters, they throw other eggs from the nest.
The cruelty of the mother sparrow is with a slightly different twist. She spares lives of her own chicks. But she kills off their little half-brothers; that is, off-springs of her husband and other female sparrows. This is her way to ensure that her husband takes care only of their shared children.
The mother Darwin frog is as indifferent to her children as the cuckoo. She spawns and immediately leaves eggs unattended. The whole business of producing little frogs from eggs and rearing them falls on her husband's shoulders.
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