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Cannibalism in the animal kingdom - Bill Schutt


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Until recently, scientists thought cannibalism was a rare response to starvation or other extreme stress. Well-known cannibals like the praying mantis and black widow were considered bizarre exceptions. But now, we know they more or less represent the rule. Bill Schutt shows how cannibalism can promote the survival of a species by reducing competition, culling the weak, and bolstering the strong.

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Cannibalism in the animal kingdom is widespread and serves a variety of functions. According to researchers, examples are as numerous as they are interesting. They include many species of invertebrates, fish, amphibians, and mammals. Not surprisingly, however, something very different comes to mind when the word “cannibalism” is mentioned. Why is that so? The following Q&A with the educator will give students an insight into what some might call an obsession.

Interested in learning more about the science and history of human and animal cannibalism? Check out Bill Schutt's book, Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History, as he debunks common myths about cannibalism, and explore's its role in biology and anthropology.

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Bill Schutt
  • Director Petya Zlateva
  • Script Editor Elizabeth Cox
  • Animator Compote Collective, Petya Zlateva
  • Designer Petya Zlateva
  • Illustrator Petya Zlateva
  • Producer Vessela Dantcheva
  • Sound Designer Alexander Evtimov, Alexander Daniel, Ivailo Stefanov
  • Composer Alexander Evtimov, Alexander Daniel, Ivailo Stefanov
  • Associate Producer Elizabeth Cox, Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Fact-Checker Francisco Diez

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