In the comment section of YouTube animal videos, there are people who say that animal mothers love their offspring very much as if human mothers do. But are there actual animal species whose parents are willing to lose their lives to save their offspring's lives?

Thinking purely in the perspective of spreading its genes more, it seems to me that it will be better to save the parent's own life and produce more offspring in the future than losing his or her life to save current batch of offspring, so I cannot think animals have that much "love" for their offspring, but it could be wrong.

Also, exclude the species that reproduce and automatically die afterwards, like salmon.

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    $\begingroup$ Why exclude the species which are the clearest examples of the circumstances you describe? Especially because I'd wager that a majority of animal species follow that pattern. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Aug 15, 2022 at 14:07
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    $\begingroup$ animals are willing to kill to save their offspring and are at the risk of getting killed by doing so.i think that it is fairly close to sacrfice their life? $\endgroup$ Aug 15, 2022 at 15:05
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    $\begingroup$ In support of the other side of the argument, pelicans have been observed cannibalising their own chicks. $\endgroup$ Aug 15, 2022 at 16:53
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    $\begingroup$ Plovers fake injury to draw predators away from their nest, drawing the attention/interest of the predator to themselves. Parents die trying to save their kids somewhere in the world all the time: parents drown holding the child above them, push their kids out of the way of oncoming traffic, mothers forgoing chemotherapy while pregnant and allowing the cancer to advance and become fatal, etc. Animals may not love their offspring in the same way, but they do love them (read Jane Goodall's work.) But I suspect you'll reject any answer just for the sake of argument. $\endgroup$ Aug 16, 2022 at 12:52
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    $\begingroup$ Which also brings up the fact that dying in an attempt to save your offspring is not the same as willingly sacrificing yourself so your offspring lives on. In that respect, it may be impossible to know what an animal's intentions were because you do not know how they think since you are not that animal. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Aug 16, 2022 at 14:55


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