Crèche (zoology)

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The Crèche (from French) in zoology refers to care of another's offspring, for instance in a colony. This term is generally used in the study of bird colonies. Many penguins form crèches, in addition to many other birds such as the Canada Goose, Common Eider and Common Shelduck.

Among the reptiles, Spectacled Caiman also raise their young in crèches, one female taking care of her own as well as several others' offspring.[1]

Lions are another notable species to form crèches. Females within a pride will provide mutual protection and will even nurse each other's cubs. However, studies have shown that cubs raised in crèches tend to have lower feeding-rates than if they were raised by one mother. This indicates that in lions, the crèche is a defensive formation.[2]

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