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In zoology, the eating of any animal by another member of the same species.

Certain ants regularly consume injured immatures and, when food is scarce, eat healthy immatures; this practice allows the adults to survive the food shortage and live to breed again. Male lions taking over a pride may kill and eat the existing young. After losing her cubs the mother will become impregnated by the new dominant male, thereby ensuring his genetic contribution. Aquarium guppies sometimes regulate their population size by eating most of their young.


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More from Britannica on "cannibalism"...
93 Encyclopædia Britannica articles, from the full 32 volume encyclopedia
eating of human flesh by humans. The term is derived from the Spanish name (Caríbales, or Caníbales) for the Carib, a West Indies tribe well known for their practice of cannibalism. A widespread custom going back into early human history, cannibalism has been found among peoples on most continents.
in zoology, the eating of any animal by another member of the same species. Cannibalism frequently serves as a mechanism to control population or to ensure the genetic contribution of an individual. In certain ants, injured immatures are regularly consumed. When food is lacking, the colony turns to the remaining healthy immatures. This practice allows the adults to ...
   from the prehistoric religion article
In finds belonging to the Paleolithic Period, pieces of human bodies as well as the bones of other animals are found scattered throughout the archaeological layers and are sometimes broken or charred. This is often taken as evidence for cannibalism, but other interpretations are just as likely (e.g., the action of carrion-eating animals [such as hyenas] turning up the ...
>Fungus gardens
   from the termite article
The Macrotermitinae (family Termitidae) cultivate symbiotic fungi (Termitomyces). The termites construct spongelike “fungus gardens,” or combs, possibly of fecal matter rich in the carbohydrate lignin. The fungi grow on the combs, and the termites consume both fungi and combs. The fungi break down the fecal matter used to construct the combs into substances that can be ...
>Krapina remains
fossilized remains of at least 24 early Neanderthal adults and children, consisting of skulls, teeth, and other skeletal parts found in a rock shelter near the city of Krapina, northern Croatia, between 1899 and 1905. The remains date to about 130,000 years ago, and the skulls have strong Neanderthal features such as heavy, sloping foreheads and projecting midfaces. The ...

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24 Student Encyclopedia Britannica articles, specially written for elementary and high school students
The eating of human flesh by humans is called cannibalism. The word cannibalism comes from the Arawakan language name for the Carib Indians of the West Indies. (Arawakan was a major South American Indian language group.) The Caribs were well known for their practice of cannibalism. The word is also used in a zoological sense to refer to the eating of any animal species by ...
The character of Friday appears in Daniel Defoe's popular novel Robinson Crusoe. The book, published in 1719, tells the story of an Englishman shipwrecked for decades on an island off the coast of South America. Friday is a native of the islands captured by a rival nation of cannibals and rescued by Crusoe, who then makes Friday his servant and finally takes him to ...
   from the folklore article
One of the best known of old English folktales is “Jack and the Bean Stalk,” the story of a boy who sells his mother's cow for a handful of colored beans. Thrown out into the yard by the mother, the beans grow overnight into a huge treelike beanstalk that reaches into the sky. Jack climbs the stalk, spies a giant, and steals the giant's wealth; in a chase down the ...
Tribal Organization
   from the Aztec article
Aztec tribes were divided into families and clans. Each clan had its own elected officials and sent representatives to the council of the tribe. The council appointed officials to govern the four quarters (phratries) in which the city was organized. The council also elected and advised the supreme chief, who led the tribe in wars and alliances. A second chief supervised ...
History and Government
   from the Fiji article
The discovery of Fiji is usually credited to Abel Jansen Tasman, a Dutch navigator, who visited the island group in 1643. Captain James Cook of England sailed through the islands in 1774. Major credit for the discovery and charting of the islands goes to another Englishman, William Bligh, who navigated the islands after being set adrift in a small boat by the mutinous ...

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