Cannibal hamsters are now real

By katanski (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By katanski (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons Katanski - Wikimedia Commons

What's the scariest monster animal in movies? Jaws? Vampire bats? Snakes on a plane?

How about crazed cannibal hamsters? Only this isn't a monster movie, this is real.

The rodent savages have been spreading through farmland in north-eastern France. Wild hamsters would normally feed on variety of grains, roots and insects - but intense farming has replaced their normal habitat with endless corn fields.

And this corn-only diet is giving the hamsters a vitamin deficiency, which in turn is leading them to eat their own young.

Scientists investigating the hamsters described the behaviour:

Females stored their pups with their hoards of maize before eating them. Pups were still alive at that time.

That's just….. horrific.

The scientists' report was published last week in the British Royal Society journal Proceedings B.

Topics:  animals cannibalism editors picks

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