Etched out cheek pouches of a European hamster. Cheek pouches are located in the thickness of the flange on both sides of the mouth of some mammals. Cheek pouches have several roles; they allow the rapid collection of food and serve as temporary storage and transport. Cheek pouches contribute to the protection of animals by allowing them to carry their food in the pouches to shelter, allowing them to transport their food to safer locations. The females of some species of hamster are known to hide their young in their cheek pouches to carry them away when they fear danger.