I guess a Whitetail Doe sticking her tongue in her Fawns ear is one way to keep it clean. The Deer Fawns at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma need the extra attention this time of year because of the ticks. The Deer will keep the ticks picked off of each other during grooming. The ticks have always been terrible at this refuge. I have been watching the deer at my place near the Ouachita National Forest and they don't even come close to having the same amount of ticks. I will post a photo tomorrow of a Fawn with lots of ticks around the outer edge of its ear.
Doe Grooming Fawn Whitetail Doe and Fawn | Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge | Oklahoma
Social Grooming Among Animals
- Grooming is a major social activity, and a means by which animals who live in close proximity may bond and reinforce social structures, family links, or build relationships.
- Social grooming behavior has been shown to elicit an array of health benefits in a variety of species. For example, group member connection has the potential to mitigate the potentially harmful effects of stressors.
- Grooming has also been shown to play an integral role in reducing tick load in wild baboons. These ectoparasitic ticks carry the potential to act as vectors for the spreading of disease and infection by common tick-borne parasites such as haemoprotozoan. Baboons with lower tick loads show decreased occurrence of such infections and display signs of greater health status, evidenced by higher hematocrit (packed red cell volume) levels.
- There exists a wide array of socially grooming animals throughout the kingdom, including primates, insects, birds, and bats.
- Source: Wikipedia