Behaviour that is concerned with the care of the body surface, performed by an animal upon itself (autogrooming), or by one animal upon another of the same species (allogrooming). In some animals (e.g. rodents) the spreading of saliva on the fur during grooming may serve a role in thermoregulation. Autogrooming may serve to change the state of arousal of an animal; allogrooming strengthens social bonds and helps to provide all members of a group with a scent characteristic of the group, by means of which group members may identify one another.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.