Sutton Massachusetts

Cannibalism and Tadpoles

Cannibalism is when a creature eats another creature of its own type. In this case, it would mean one tadpole eating another tadpole. Cannibalism is NOT natural in a tadpole community. Here is how it can happen - and what to do to stop it.

If you do not feed your tadpoles enough - for example, only providing them with food for ten minutes out of each 24-hour day - they will starve. Out of desperation, they will look for another food source - any source. Even though tadpoles normally only eat plant life, they will turn to animal flesh.

They will begin eating each other out of desperation.

As a caring tadpole parent, you want to avoid this.

There's a fairly simple way to avoid this sad situation. Make sure your tadpoles always have adequate food to eat. That way your tadpoles do not feel the need to munch on each other to survive.

Note that cannibalism is much different than the normal little nips that tadpoles give each other during their daily life. Tadpoles nip at each other just like puppies nip at each other. It's a way for them to play or to say "leave me alone for now." So if you see your tadpoles nipping at each other occasionally, that's normal. That's the way they are.

But if you see one tadpole repeatedly attacking another, and there's no food anywhere in sight, that's time to step in.

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