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Broodiness is the action or behavioral tendency to sit on a clutch of eggs to incubate them, often requiring the non-expression of many other behaviors including feeding and drinking.[1] Being broody has been defined as "Being in a state of readiness to brood eggs that is characterized by cessation of laying and by marked changes in behavior and physiology".[2] Broody birds often pluck feathers from their chest and abdomen, using them to cover the eggs. As a consequence of this, they develop one or several patches of bare skin on the ventral surface. These reddish, well-vascularized areas of skin are usually called brood patches, and improve heat transfer to the eggs. Broodiness is usually associated with female birds, although males of some bird species become broody and some non-avian animals also show broodiness.

A brooding female python.

Most pythons coil around their egg-clutches and remain with them until they hatch. A female python will not leave the eggs, except to occasionally bask in the sun or drink water. She will even “shiver” to generate heat to incubate the eggs.

Some cichlid fish lay their eggs in the open, on rocks, leaves, or logs. Male and female parents usually engage in differing brooding roles. Most commonly, the male patrols the pair's territory and repels intruders, while females fan water over the eggs, removing the infertile and leading the fry while foraging. However, both sexes are able to perform the full range of parenting behaviours.

Mouthbrooding

Mouthbrooding, also known as oral incubation, refers to the care given by some groups of animals to fertilized eggs or their offspring by holding them in the mouth of the parent for extended periods of time. Although it has been observed in a variety of animals, most mouthbrooders are fish. The parent performing this behavior invariably feeds less often and afterwards will be underweight, requiring a period of feeding and restoring the depleted energy reserves.[25]

Others

Marsupial frogs are so-called because they possess a dorsal brood pouch. In some

Several deinonychosaur and oviraptorosaur specimens have also been found preserved on top of their nests, likely brooding in a bird-like manner.[21]

Lungless salamanders in the family Plethodontidae lay a small number of eggs in a cluster among damp leaf litter. The female salamander often broods the eggs and in the genus Ensatinas, she has been observed to coil around them and press her throat area against them, effectively massaging them with a mucous secretion.[22] The black mountain salamander mother broods her eggs, guarding them from predation as the larvae feed on the yolks of their eggs. They eventually break their way out of the egg capsules and disperse.[23] Some species of Gymnophiona (caecilians, with long, cylindrical, limbless bodies) brood their eggs.[24]

Most pythons coil around their egg-clutches and remain with them until they hatch. A female python will not leave the eggs, except to occasionally bask in the sun or drink water. She will even “shiver” to generate heat to incubate the eggs.

Some cichlid fish lay their eggs in the open, on rocks, leaves, or logs. Male and female parents usually engage in differing brooding roles. Most commonly, the male patrols the pair's territory and repels intruders, while females fan water over the eggs, removing the infertile and leading the fry while foraging. However, both sexes are able to perform the full range of parenting behaviours.

Mouthbrooding

Mouthbrooding, also known as oral incubation, refers to the care given by some groups of animals to fertilized eggs or their offspring by holding them in the mouth of the parent for extended periods of time. Alth

Some cichlid fish lay their eggs in the open, on rocks, leaves, or logs. Male and female parents usually engage in differing brooding roles. Most commonly, the male patrols the pair's territory and repels intruders, while females fan water over the eggs, removing the infertile and leading the fry while foraging. However, both sexes are able to perform the full range of parenting behaviours.

Mouthbrooding, also known as oral incubation, refers to the care given by some groups of animals to fertilized eggs or their offspring by holding them in the mouth of the parent for extended periods of time. Although it has been observed in a variety of animals, most mouthbrooders are fish. The parent performing this behavior invariably feeds less often and afterwards will be underweight, requiring a period of feeding and restoring the depleted energy reserves.[25]

Others

Marsupial frogs are so-called because they possess a dorsal brood pouch. In some species the eggs are fertilized on the female's lower back, and are inserted in her pouch with the aid of the male's toes. The eggs remain in contact with the female's vascular tissue, which provides them oxygen.

Some animals have a common name that includes the word 'brood' or its derivatives, although it is arguable whether the animals show 'broodiness' per se. For example, the female gastric-brooding frog (Rheobatrachus sp.

Some animals have a common name that includes the word 'brood' or its derivatives, although it is arguable whether the animals show 'broodiness' per se. For example, the female gastric-brooding frog (Rheobatrachus sp.) from Australia, now probably extinct, swallows her fertilized eggs, which then develop inside her stomach. She ceases to feed and stops secreting stomach acid and the tadpoles rely on the yolks of the eggs for nourishment. After six or seven weeks the mother opens her mouth wide and regurgitates the tadpoles which hop away from her mouth.[26] The brooding sea anemone (Epiactis prolifera) is a colonial hermaphrodite that fertilizes and incubates its eggs internally. The motile larvae, after swimming out of the mouth, migrate down to the disk and become fixed there until they become little anemones, ready to move and feed independently.

In Darwin's frog (Rhinoderma darwinii), the female lays about 30 eggs and then the male guards them for about two weeks, until they hatch. The male then takes all the survivors and carries around the developing young in his vocal pouch. When the tiny tadpoles have developed they hop out and swim away. In this animal, the parents hold the hatched young rather than eggs in their mouths, so is arguably not showing 'broodiness'.

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