According to the definition at Primate Info Net an alloparent is defined as any individual other than the parent that assists in the care of dependent young, the individual may or may not be genetically related to the young.
Alloparental care -the care of other's offspring- is a key aspect of sociality in many groups of animals. Understanding how this complex behavior arises requires identifying both the selective forces that may favor it, as well as characteristics of particular lineages that facilitate or hinder its evolution. (Samuk & Aviles, 2013)
Alloparenting touches on a variety of topics of interest to those studying evolutionary behavior including kin selection, inclusive fitness, and altruism.
References & LinksEdit
Allomothering in Primates. (n.d.). U-M Personal World Wide Web Server. Retrieved September 30, 2013, from http://www-personal.umich.edu/~phyl/anthro/allomother.html
Bentley, G. R., & Mace, R. (2012, March 15). Substitute parents: biological and social perspective on alloparenting across human societies (G. R. Bentley & R. Mace) (Vol. 3). Berghahn Books.
Clark, M. M., & Galef Jr, B. G. (2000). Why some male Mongolian gerbils may help at the nest: testosterone, asexuality and alloparenting. Animal behaviour, 59(4), 801-806.
Maniscalco, J. M., Harris, K. R., Atkinson, S., & Parker, P. (2007). Alloparenting in Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus): correlations with misdirected care and other observations. Journal of ethology, 25(2), 125-131.
Primate Info Net. (n.d.). Primate Info Net. Retrieved September 30, 2013, from http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/
"Pygmy Marmosets: Small but Mighty Monkeys!." The Official Houston Zoo Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2013. <www.houstonzooblogs.org/zoo/2013/04/pygmy-marmosets-small-but-mighty-monkeys/>.
Samuk, K., & Aviles, L. (n.d). Indiscriminate care of offspring predates the evolution of sociality in alloparenting social spiders. Behavioral Ecology And Sociobiology, 67(8), 1275-1284.
Stone, A., Mathieu, D., Griffin, L., & Bales, K. (n.d). Alloparenting experience affects future parental behavior and reproductive success in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Behavioural Processes, 83(1), 8-15.