French scientists have discovered a disturbing side effect of changing up hamster diets. Some hamsters became disturbed cannibals.
"A diet of corn is turning wild hamsters in north-eastern France into deranged cannibals that devour their offspring", explains the Guardian and some researchers. The picture is quite Gothic:
The cannibal mothers showed other signs of abnormality. The usually cute-and-cuddly hamsters ran in circles, “climbing and pounding their feeders,” when scientists entered the room...
What was most disturbing is how they perished. “Females stored their pups with their hoards of maize before eating them,” the scientists reported. “Pups were still alive at that time.”
While normal hamsters will wean about 80% of their children into adulthood, only 3% of these monsters' babies survived.
The world is always Gothic, if you look at it the right way.