Infanticide by females is a leading source of juvenile mortality in a large social carnivore

Ally K Brown, Malit O Pioon, Kay E Holekamp & Eli D Strauss
Social animals benefit from their group-mates, so why do they sometimes kill each other’s offspring? Using 30 years of data from multiple groups of wild spotted hyenas, we address three critical aims for understanding infanticide in any species: (1) quantify the contribution of infanticide to overall mortality (2) describe the circumstances under which infanticide occurs and (3) evaluate hypotheses about the evolution of infanticide. We find that, although observed only rarely, infanticide is in fact...
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