Placentophagia: A biobehavioral enigma (or De gustibus non disputandum est)

Kristal, Mark B. (1980) Placentophagia: A biobehavioral enigma (or De gustibus non disputandum est). [Journal (Paginated)]

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Although ingestion of the afterbirth during delivery is a reliable component of parturitional behavior of mothers in most mammalian species, we know almost nothing of the direct causes or consequences of the act. Traditional explanations of placentophagia, such as general or specific hunger, are discussed and evaluated in light of recent experimental results. Next, research is reviewed which has attempted to distinguish between placentophagia as a maternal behavior and placentophagia as an ingestive behavior. Finally, consequences of the behavior, which may also be viewed as ultimate causes in an evolutionary sense, are considered, such as the possibility of beneficial effects on maternal behavior or reproductive competence, on protection against predators, and on immunological protection afforded either the mother or the young.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:Placenta, Placentophagia, Afterbirth, Parturition, Mammals, Maternal behavior, Ingestion, Immunology, Adaptive advantage, Pregnancy, Fetal membranes, Amnion, Amniotic fluid, Birth
Subjects:Neuroscience > Behavioral Neuroscience
Biology > Animal Behavior
Biology > Behavioral Biology
Biology > Ethology
Psychology > Comparative Psychology
Psychology > Physiological Psychology
Psychology > Psychobiology
ID Code:757
Deposited By: Kristal, Mark B.
Deposited On:19 Nov 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54


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