Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Cheek Pouch

One of a pair of sacs on either side of the face opposite the cheek teeth that are formed from the adjacent oral membrane; these pouches are used to store and carry food items temporarily; facial musculature assists in emptying these sacs. Cheek pouches are common among rodents, but among primates they are found only in the Cercopithecinae; these structures contain the carbohydrate digestive enzyme amylase and cercopithecines appear to force chewed food into the cheek pouches before swallowing. Aka buccal pouches.

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