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Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior


Grooming; Social grooming


Allogrooming is a form of caregiving through physical contact, typically where one animal uses its hands, mouth, or other part of its body to touch another animal (Dunbar 2010; Newton-Fisher and Kaburu 2017; Spruijt et al. 1992). The mechanical motion of grooming resembles scratching, picking, stroking, or rubbing (in some animals licking and nibbling) and is directed towards the outer body surface, whether that surface is fur, feathers, or bare skin (Dunbar 2010; Pellis and Pellis 2010; Spruijt et al. 1992). Grooming is widely studied in primates (Dunbar 2010; Newton-Fisher and Kaburu 2017; Schino and Aureli 2010; Spruijt et al. 1992), but it occurs in a wide variety of other animals too, including arthropods, birds, and other mammals such as ungulates and rodents (Pellis and Pellis 2010; Spruijt et al. 1992). The word “allogrooming” means “grooming another” and usually refers to same-species grooming. The functions of allogrooming (why...

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Correspondence to Yvan I. Russell .

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Russell, Y.I. (2018). Allogrooming. In: Vonk, J., Shackelford, T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior. Springer, Cham.

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