Why do some animals eat or abandon their offspring? According to researchers at the University of Tennessee and the University of Oxford, these might actually be forms of parental care. Published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, their mathematical model shows that when overcrowding threatens offspring survival -- which often occurs due to spread of infection or competition for resources -- sacrificing a few so the most can live becomes the ultimate form of tough love.
- Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
- National Science Foundation, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Center of Excellence for Applied Computational Sciences and Engineering