People love animals, whether its owning a pet or going to the zoo to see amazing creatures. We tend to like animals because they're either cute, or do silly things or are just fascinating to watch. Today though we will explore a darker side to the animal kingdom and look at some animals that are brutal to their fellow wildlife.
Aww what a cute little guy. What's the worst he possibly do that would earn him a spot on this list? Poop on your car? On you? No, these adorable little song birds are far more nefarious than they appear. Shrikes are predatory and are capable of hunting relatively large prey such as lizards and small mammals. However, they do not posses large talons like other, larger predatory birds such as eagles or hawks. So what do they do instead? They impale their targets on thorns, barbed wire or any other sharp material they can find. I guess if the early bird gets the worm, the late-comer goes on a psychotic rampage.
Up next is another feathered fiend that uses a diabolical, but ingenious way of raising offspring. What they do is leave their eggs in the nests of other birds, forcing the host parents to feed and take care of the invaders children. This is called brood parasitism, and it affects hundreds of different bird species. Pretty low blow but it only gets worse. The offspring of the Cowbirds will hatch more quickly then their host counterparts, which at best results in them out competing their nest mates for food due to their size advantage. Worst case scenario however results in the Cowbird pushing the other eggs out of the nest or smothering the other chicks.
Imagine There's a guy out at a bar looking for a date. He's walking around having a good time when suddenly he sees a beautiful woman waving at him and smiling. He saunters over, accepting the unspoken invitation and they begin to chat. Eventually they end up at her place and the man thinks it's his lucky night. Oops! Unfortunately for him, the woman turns out to be a vampire and only lured him to her in order to take his blood. This is essentially what female Photuris (aka Femme Fatale) Fireflies do. They lure in male species of fireflies that can produce a substance called lucibufagin that is used for defensive purposes against predators. Photuris Fireflies can't produce this chemical on their own, hence why they lure in males of other species that can. Talk about worst first date ever!
No that's impossible! How can penguins be jerks? They're supposed to be happy and dancing all the time right? Well It turns out penguins, specifically Emperor Penguins, have this bizarre behavior where they kidnap another penguin's baby should they lose their own. Hormones from egg laying are thought to be a driving force behind this odd behavior. If the mother loses their egg, their parental drive almost puts them in a frenzy and they seek out another baby. When the hormone levels drop, the parenting drive ends, leading the penguin to lose interest in the stolen chick and abandon it. Now that's just cold.
This nightmare come to life is straight out of a horror movie. Tarantula Hawks, as you might expect, hunt tarantulas for one singular purpose. No it's not for food, Tarantula Hawks actually eat nectar from flowers. They use the tarantulas as the site for laying their eggs. This horrifying process begins with the Tarantula Hawk paralyzing its target with a sting. Then, while still alive, the tarantula is dragged back to the lair of the Tarantula Hawk to be incubated with eggs. Then, while still alive, the tarantula will be eaten from within by the larvae. Well played Tarantula Hawk, you found a way to make me feel bad for spiders. You've also provide nightmare fuel for the next few months so thanks for that.