Japanese macaque cuddling her two-week-old baby

Maternal care

Maternal care is where the mother of the offspring provides most or all of the effort needed to protect, feed or raise the young. In egg-laying species, maternal care includes looking after the eggs before the young hatch - for instance a mother crocodile guarding her clutch. In mammals, only the mother can provide the milk that youngsters are dependent on for the first part of their lives, so in many species all the primary care is done by the female, though males may play a part in defending or providing for the female.

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Animals with this behaviour

Mammals

Birds

Reptiles

Amphibians

Cephalopods

Insects

Arachnids

Crabs, shrimp and krill

Jellyfish

BBC News about Maternal care

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