Apples don’t fall far from the tree

It’s a scene that occurs daily among nesting colonies of Nazca boobies: A young adult bird struts over to a neighbor’s chick and begins biting and pecking it, sometimes causing injuries that lead to the nestling’s death.

But if the chick survives, it’s likely to become just like its tormentor, attacking other nestlings when it reaches maturity and perpetuating this “cycle of violence,” researchers report. It’s one of the first times that the cycle, which is normally used to explain child abuse in humans, has been discovered in a population of wild animals. Learn more here.


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