Filial cannibalism as a reproductive strategy in care-giving teleosts?

Carl Smith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Cannibalism of offspring may be an adaptive reproductive strategy and could occur by two mechanisms. Complete cannibalism of small broods may allow parental resources of time and energy to be reallocated to larger broods yielding a higher net return on parental investment. Complete brood cannibalism has been induced experimentally. Alternatively partial cannibalism by a male parent of some of its offspring may provide energy for continued care of young. Though widely quoted this strategy may not yield the cannibal a net gain in fitness and has no empirical support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-613
Number of pages7
JournalNetherlands Journal of Zoology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1991


  • Cannibalism
  • Reproductive strategy
  • Teleosts


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