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See Animal hoarding for the human behavior in which people keep too many pets.

In animal ethology the hoarding of food is a natural behaviour in certain species of animals. It occurs in two forms:

  • Larder hoarding, the collection of large amounts of food in a single place (a larder), which usually also serves as the nest where the animal lives. Hamsters are famous larder hoarders. Indeed, the word "hamster" is derived from the German verb "hamstern" which means "to hoard"; similar verbs are found in various related languages Dutch hamsteren, and Swedish hamstra). Other languages also draw a clear connection between hamsters and hoarding: Polish chomikować, from chomik – hamster; Hebrew hamster; oger (אוגר) comes from to hoarde; le'egor (לאגור).
  • Scatter hoarding, the formation of a large number of small hoards or caches of nuts and other seeds. Many species of squirrel, including the Eastern Gray Squirrel and the fox squirrel are well known for scatter hoarding. This behaviour plays an important part in seed dispersal, as those seeds that are left uneaten will have a chance to germinate, thus enabling plants to spread their populations effectively.

The group of animals dislaying this behavior include:

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