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Russian Journal of Theriology

Maternal care in captive grey hamster Cricetulus migratorius (Rodentia, Cricetidae) // Russian J. Theriol. Vol.5 (for 2006). No.2: 7377 [in English].

ABSTRACT. In ten female grey hamsters, Cricetulus migratorius, rearing their first litters, both direct and indirect maternal activities were studied under laboratory conditions during the observation period (21 days from parturition) divided into four rearing stages: days 26, 711, 1216, and 1721, respectively. The maternal care was found to include nursing, huddling over, brooding and grooming the young, the nest construction and food caching. Total time spent in the nest by the females was found to decrease gradually during the whole observation period as well as other maternal activities with exception of pup grooming that has maximum rate during second rearing stage. Maternal behaviour of Cricetulus migratorius is discussed in comparison with that one of other cricetid rodents. KEY WORDS: hamster, maternal care, nest attendance, pup grooming, nest maintenance.