Cache-Protecting Behavior of Food-Hoarding Animals

  • Stephen B. Vander Wall
  • Kimberly G. Smith


Food-hoarding can be distinguished from other types of foraging by two criteria: after capturing or collecting prey, an animal engaged in food-hoarding (1) defers consumption of the prey and (2) handles the prey to conserve it for future use. This period of deferment may be only a few hours (e.g., Cowie, Krebs & Sherry 1981) to as long as several years (e.g., M.C. Smith 1968). Handling, in this context, encompasses preparation, transportation, placement, and concealment of food items. Handling behavior varies greatly among food-hoarding animals and is influenced by the kind of food stored. The terms “storing” and “caching” are here considered synonymous with hoarding.


Dung Beetle Food Cache Cache Site Eastern Chipmunk Digger Wasp 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen B. Vander Wall
    • 1
  • Kimberly G. Smith
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUtah State University LoganLoganUSA
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA

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