It is an act in which a species eats other species of its own kind due to various reasons such as environmental pressure or to avoid starvation.
The condition is explained by a species called as spade foot toad tadpoles which is found in desert regions of the south western America. These tadpoles are present in oasis in the desert which are then transformed into toadlets. These toadlets are small and as the water inside the Oasis can be evaporated at any moment. These toadlets usually race against the time in order to survive.
Due to environmental pressure, they eat off their own species and get enough nutrition so that they can grow in much faster pace. This allows the spade foot toad to undergo cannibalism. The amount of nutrition available to the toadlets help in quick growth of the species.
The survivor toads then grow into the spade foot frogs. Thus the cannibalism proves the point of stronger person feed over the weaker in order to survive in the habitat.
This condition is not seen in spade foot frogs but also various species such as birds, insects and other animals in which they feed over their own species.
This condition is seen in animals such as rats and birds in which they eat off their diseased or dead offsprings to reduce the competition among the offsprings. This also seen on lions in which the male lions eat off their cubs which are unable to survive.
The most common examples for cannibalism are praying mantis and black widow spider. The cannibalism are less in the bird species but few birds feed on their offsprings for nutrition. A particular species of shark that cultivates the eggs inside the oviducts inside the body. The offsprings feed on the other eggs for nutrition and at last only two full developed baby sharks are produced by the female shark. These sharks are completely prepared with the concept of predation within inside the mother’s body itself.