Overview and Meaning
Bar mouthing is a stereotypy - a repetitive, unvarying behavior lacking apparent goal or function. Bar mouthing is often performed with fixed proceeding behaviors, a fixed idiosyncratic posture, and on only one or two bars in the cage.
Bar mouthing is a bout of sham-biting on a fixed area of the cage bars. A mouse holds a cage bar in its diastema and either:
- Makes a series of sham-biting movements along the bar.
- Wipes its open mouth along the bar.
- Wipes its open mouth along the bar while rotating or flicking its head backwards and forwards.
Bar mouthing is distinguished from other biting behaviors because it lasts longer and is more than a single bite or two in succession.