Jun 15, 2019 | Updated: 11:54 AM EDT

Male Poison Frogs Best Fathers, But Cannibal Clutch Eaters On Other's Offspring After Taking Over New Territories

Mar 03, 2017 11:20 AM EST

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Travel Destination: Raetikon Mountain Range
(Photo : Sean Gallup/Getty Images) TSCHAGGUNS, AUSTRIA - AUGUST 02: An alpine frog hops through damp grass near Gruenes Fuerkele peak in the Raetikon mountain range on August 2, 2016 near Tschagguns, Austria. The Raetikon mountains, part of the Central Eastern Alps, straddle the borders between Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Austria in a region where a break-away African tectonic plate has clashed with European sheets, resulting in a rich geology that fosters a wide variety of wildflowers. The mountains, with their Sulzfluh and Schesaplana peaks, are also a popular destination for hikers and climbers.

Male poison frogs of Allobates femoralis were found as very caring dads. However, when they take other territories, they are clutch cannibals.

Mail Online reported a very ironic behavior or a frog species called the male poison frog or Allobates Femoralis. Commonly, the male poison frogs are known to be very gentle and caring father for all its clutches inside its territories.

However, when these male poison frogs were able to conquer somebody's territory, it shows the horrific attitude towards others' clutches. According to Science News Line, these frogs would eventually shift its attitude and lose its child-friendly behavior as the new ruler of the territories they have stolen.

Worst of all, the poison male frogs would turn to cannibal and eat all of the other clutches from their conquered territories. The condition is called "Infanticide," a not uncommon in the animal kingdom.

Aside from reducing the risk of investing parental care towards the offspring of others, infanticide has also another purpose for mating when it comes to other animals. Other animals including some species of birds and insects tried to decrease the reproductive success of their rivals and increase the chances of themselves for mating in the future. For instance, lions do the same style of eating other's cubs after gaining territory to reduce the reproductive success of their rivals.

With this technique of the male poison frogs, they make sure that all future clutches contain only exclusive from their own offspring. More so, they may find clutches to be very nutritious and an incredible source of energy.

Head researcher Eva Ringler said in their study, " We have seen in male poison frogs that even a simple trigger is sufficient enough to switch from parental care to destructive actions and vice versa." Ringler headed her team on the study of the male poison frogs' behaviors and cannibalism.

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