Sociogenesis of species-typical and species-atypical behavior in mallard ducklings

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Cheryl Ann Sexton (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Gilbert Gottlieb

Abstract: Although social experience has been recognized as important for the development of behavior, little is known about how social experience contributes to behavioral development. This study demonstrated that altering the social experience of young, developing ducklings can induce novel behavioral phenotypes as well as constrain the development of novel behavior, and also investigated the mechanisms by which such phenomena occur. First, the influence of the social environment for inducing atypical preferences was demonstrated. Previous research has shown that the mallard duckling's naive preference for the mallard maternal call can be altered by providing very specific auditory experiences during prenatal and postnatal development. A species-atypical preference for the chicken maternal call over that of the mallard will result if ducklings are prenatally exposed to the chicken call for 48 hours, but not if they lack this prenatal exposure. This study showed that a non-prenatally exposed duckling reared socially with peers that were exposed prenatally to the chicken call developed the atypical preference, in contrast to a non-exposed duckling that was socially reared with other non-exposed peers.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1994
Ducks $x Behavior
Birds as laboratory animals

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