Volume 41 Issue 4
Jul.  2020
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Hai-Tao Zhao, Wen-Qing Zhang, Kang-Sheng Jia, Jia-Xuan Li, Xu-Xiang Bai, Xiao-Wei Wang, Song-Tao Guo, Shu-Jun He, Hong-Juan Sun, Ying-Hu Lei, Ru-Liang Pan, Bao-Guo Li. Observation of mother-perpetrated infanticide in golden takins (Budorcas taxicolor bedfordi). Zoological Research, 2020, 41(4): 455-457. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2020.041
Citation: Hai-Tao Zhao, Wen-Qing Zhang, Kang-Sheng Jia, Jia-Xuan Li, Xu-Xiang Bai, Xiao-Wei Wang, Song-Tao Guo, Shu-Jun He, Hong-Juan Sun, Ying-Hu Lei, Ru-Liang Pan, Bao-Guo Li. Observation of mother-perpetrated infanticide in golden takins (Budorcas taxicolor bedfordi). Zoological Research, 2020, 41(4): 455-457. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2020.041

Observation of mother-perpetrated infanticide in golden takins (Budorcas taxicolor bedfordi)

doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2020.041
Funds:  This study was supported by the Key Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31730104), National Natural Science Foundation of China (31572278, 31801981), Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB31020302), National Key Program of Research and Development, Ministry of Science and Technology (2016YFC0503200), Special Foundation of Shaanxi Academy of Sciences, China (2016K-20, 2018K-16-04), One Institute One Brand Foundation of Shaanxi Academy of Sciences (2020k-01), Shaanxi Key Research and Development Program (2018PT-04), and Innovation Capability Support Program of Shaanxi (2020KJXX-008)
More Information
  • Infanticide by unrelated individuals is widely reported in the animal kingdom; however, little is known about cases perpetrated by a parent, particularly the mother. This article reports on three cases of mother-initiated infanticide in Qinling golden takins (Budorcas taxicolor bedfordi) recorded from video and camera images. Based on previous reports in other animals, we propose that the infanticide events observed in golden takins were related to the parental manipulation mechanism – i.e., killing an unhealthy infant to allow the mother to invest more care in potentially healthy offspring, and gain more fruitful reproductive opportunities. This appears to be an evolutionary-based selection strategy, whereby a species can prosper and succeed under the challenges of natural selection. However, further studies on both captive and wild populations are required to answer the various questions raised from our observations.

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