TY - GEN ID - cogprints757 UR - http://cogprints.org/757/ A1 - Kristal, Mark B. Y1 - 1980/// N2 - 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. KW - Placenta KW - Placentophagia KW - Afterbirth KW - Parturition KW - Mammals KW - Maternal behavior KW - Ingestion KW - Immunology KW - Adaptive advantage KW - Pregnancy KW - Fetal membranes KW - Amnion KW - Amniotic fluid KW - Birth TI - Placentophagia: A biobehavioral enigma (or De gustibus non disputandum est) SP - 141 AV - public EP - 150 ER -