Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/263

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CRIMINALITY IN ANIMALS.

as among the insects and amphibiæ, and the cuckoo, take no care at all of their young, although they mate ardently.

Other animals, as with ants and bees, do not exercise the act of propagation at all, yet they very assiduously take care of the eggs and larvæ. The same author insists upon individual differences, and cites cases, the counterparts of which would be called in human societies abandonment of children, abduction of minors, seduction, infanticide, etc.

Some cows, mares, and dogs bear the loss of their young with a degree of indifference; others even abandon them regularly. Pigeons generally, male as well as female, appear indifferent to their broods, while the rail and the corn-crake are so devoted to them that their heads are frequently cut off by the reaper's sickle. When a house in which storks have a nest takes fire, the father and the mother stork will fall into the flames rather than abandon their young. Boerhaave has made the same observation with respect to the chimney-swallow. The female partridge loves her own young with a strong affection, but she chases away and kills the young of other partridges. The pheasant, on the other hand, shows much less affection for her own young, and does not mind the loss of those which stray from her, while she receives joyfully and takes under her protection little pheasants that are strangers to her.

Gall tells of mares that have such a passion for colts that they kidnap the foals from other mares, and take care of them with a jealous fondness; and Espinas notices the same fact among asses. Pierquin had a dog of a Scotch breed, which was shy of the male, but would capture every puppy it met, and was in the habit of stealing out of the house to go hunting for them.

Among facts of an opposite character, we cite the case of a friend's dog which bore three or four litters, of which it would take proper care during the first three months, and would then carry them away into the mountain and leave them. We must also take notice of that inexplicable aberration that leads many females among our domestic animals to suffer their progeny to die, or kill them; while other animals, dogs, for example, become thieves during the whole time that they are taking care of their young. Females of the larger domestic species frequently refuse to let their young suck them, with the result that the young die. This is most remarked of animals bearing for the first time. The most astonishing fact is that of infanticide, which is almost the rule with certain species, notably with swine.

4. Acts of Offense committed by Animals under the Influence of the Destructive Instinct.—This instinct acts when animals are urged to overcome the obstacles that oppose the satisfaction of their desires. Thus they become murderous in time of heat; they seem to have gained new force; their nature has become irascible and furiously disposed; and contests of the most bloody character take