alloparent

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From allo- +‎ parent.

Noun[edit]

alloparent (plural alloparents)

  1. (biology, sociology) An adult animal or person involved in parent-like behaviour towards an individual that is not his or her offspring. [from 20th c.]
    • 2011, Chris Stringer, The Origin of Our Species, Penguin 2012, p. 142:
      And Hrdy further suggests that the immersion of human babies in a pool of alloparents would have honed the mind-reading skills and empathy that are so important to our species, faster than anything else.

Related terms[edit]