Snakes Eat Their Offspring [LiveScience 2011-08-01]
[Photo] Diamondback Rattlesnake. Credit: Blair Bunting | Dreamstime.com
Many rattlesnake mothers will eat some of their non-surviving offspring, scientists learned in February, 2009. The postpartum cannibalism — moms in the study ate about 11 percent of their eggs and dead offspring. Why? "A cannibal rattlesnake female can recover lost energy for reproduction without having to hunt for food, a dangerous activity that requires time and expends a great deal of energy," said Estrella Mociño and Kirk Setser, lead authors of the study and researchers at the University of Granada in Spain.