Mother's Day Mayhem: 5 Worst Animal Moms

After that gosh-darn-they're-so-cute post about animal moms taking care of their babies, posted from the Upcoming Queue by smellslikepurple, I think Neatorama needs to provide a badly needed counterbalance.

So, with the help of National Geographic, here's Mother's Day Mayhem: 5 "Worst" Animal Moms. Take, for instance, the burying beetle mom:

She's a "bad" mom because ... she eats her young in a deadly game of musical chairs.

Burying beetle larvae typically move into a mouse carcass their mother and father have buried. The mother feeds her young by eating the carcass and regurgitating the mouse meat.

"The little larvae wave back and forth, begging to mom," said Scott Forbes, University of Winnipeg biologist and author of A Natural History of Families.

"The first ones get fed, but the very last one sitting there begging [after the portion runs out] gets eaten by the mother."

Give Mom a break, because ... burying beetle mothers are likely culling their brood to match the food supply. The beetles typically produce broods bigger than the carcass can support. A bit of strategic cannibalism boosts overall survival chances for the larvae left "standing" when the music stops.

Link (Photo: Gary Meszaros/Visuals Unlimited)

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I know that squirrels pull the fur off their young to add to the nest for bedding. A number of years ago I remember seeing a baby squirrel jumping around with a big bald spot on his head.
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