A cannibal is any animal that feeds on its own species (Lady Wild Life’s website). This characteristic is rarely spoken of because it has such a negative connotation. However, an estimate of 140 species from a large time scale, displayed cannibalistic tendencies (Lady Wild Life’s website).
Ranging from animals in the present time- lions, pigs, ants, otters, apes, poultry, mantis, spiders, scorpions, mice, etc., to approximately 100,000 years ago with the early humans, Neanderthals, to the beginning of the Mesozoic Era with possibly the first dinosaur, Coelophysis (Bossel et al 2001, Defleur et al 1999). The reasons for resorting to cannibalism vary according with their environment. Some animals resort to cannibalism for survival needs, ritual activities, or protecting their territory. This essay will look at animals that engaged in cannibalism across a large geological time scale.
Raymond Rogers, David Krause, and Kristina Curry Rogers found significant evidence that the carnivorous dinosaur, Majungatholus atopus, was also a cannibal (Krause et al 2003). The dinosaur remains of the Majungatholus atopus were dated in the late Cretaceous Period from 65 to 70 million years ago. The Majungatholus atopus inhabited the plains of the northwestern Madagascar and bones and teeth continue to be found throughout the Maevarno Formation and within the channel-belt deposits of the Anembalemba Member. The Majungatholus is commonly found, along with other vertebra taxa in ‘bonebeds’ in the Madagascar area, which is probably the reason this dinosaur is still preserved. The trio discovered teeth marks in many bones of the ribs, ilium, and precaudal axial skeleton co...
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... the behavior different animals do and don’t engage in over time.
Bossel. (2001, April 24). Cannibalism. BBC website. Retrieved March 16, 2004, from
Defleur, A., Cregut-Bonnoure, E., Slimak, L., Valensi, P., & White, T.
Neanderthal Cannibalism at Moula-Guercy, Ardeche, France. Science 286, 128 v. 286, Issue 5437, 128-131.
Krause, D., Rogers, K., & Rogers, R. (03 April 2003). Cannibalism in the Madagascan
dinosaur Majungatholus atopus. Nature 442, 515-518.
Ladywildlife’s Website. Cannibalism in Animals. Retrieved March 4, 2004 from
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