Nursing - Bear Nursing
Overview and Meaning
Mice are a altricial species. During the first few weeks of life they rely on their mother's milk as a source of food and as a way to learn about the food eaten by their mother. The amount of milk received can affect a pup's adult weight and aggressiveness. Therefore, weaning weight of male pups can have long term effects on their ability to become dominant adults (Latham & Mason, 2004).
A dam will spend the bulk of her time in the nest on top of her pups to keep them warm and to allow them to nurse at her teats.
The dam is sitting in an upright posture on its hind quarters with the forepaws lifted off the ground. Pups are attached to the nipples.