Parental Instinct

Parental Instinct


(biology), the actions of animals that ensure or improve conditions of survival and development of their offspring.

Sometimes parental instinct is limited to nest-building (lairs, hollows) and the preparation of food for the yet unborn offspring. In such cases, the female never encounters her hatched young. For example, some wasps deposit their eggs on insects that they have paralyzed; the paralyzed insects serve as food for the larvae.

A higher type of parental instinct is care of the young, which is observed in two forms—passive and active. With passive care, the adult individual carries its eggs or young in folds, pouches, or special depressions in the skin. The young animals sometimes feed on discharges from the mother. Passive care characterizes a number of echinoderms, crustaceans, mollusks, spiders, fishes (seahorse, pipefish, some chromids), amphibians (obstetrical toad, Surinam toad), and lower mammals (echidnas, marsupials).

With active care, the adult animals perform specific actions associated with concern for their offspring: they establish a shelter, and they provide warmth for, feed, clean, and protect their young. In addition, many higher animals (birds and mammals) teach their offspring to find food and to recognize enemies. In many bird species, such as partridges, the mother attempts to distract the attention of an enemy that is threatening her young or her clutch. A herd of ungulates will encircle their young to protect them from attack by predators.


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My perfected friend," he said, "my parental instinct recognises in you a noble evidence and illustration of the theory of development.
Once Tarzan had saved Taug's life; but the memory of an ape is not overlong, nor would gratitude rise above the parental instinct.
One must make allowances for a parental instinct that has been starving for twenty-five or thirty years.
My parental instinct told me something wasn't right about him or the way he was behaving.
Her experiences have led her to conclude: "Children aren't being raised by parental instinct, they're being raised via Google, chatrooms, TV shows, books, magazines and other people's opinions.
Does Bruce have the parental instinct that Khloe and Lamar wouldn't go through the struggles they experienced when they were still together?
The parental instinct to protect their children from negative peer attention applies equally to proponents of cosmetic surgery and those who disagree with such treatment.
Every fibre of my parental instinct told me that Sophie had to understand the consequences of breaking the law and that speeding can be a serious and dangerous issue," he pontificates.
London River's accute sense of institutionalised helplessness (the police more or less tell Elisabeth to do their work for them) and the parental instinct to know when something isn't right might haunt you for days.
To see one's children go to bed hungry flies in the face of parental instinct, not to be able to give your children a Christmas or birthday gift would break the heart of any parent.
Charlotte knows the bullying made her stronger but said: "My parental instinct has kicked in and I'd kill anyone who did that to my little girl, it would break my heart.

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