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I think a more likely and simpler explanation for such things as imprinting ("just-born duck thinks any moving object is mother, and thus thinks wayward football is parent" type of thing), is that for entirely physiological reasons, the chick is sensitized.

This is contentious?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 09:43:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In ducks - no.

In humans - very much so.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 10:26:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Helen once described to me and Barbara a similar phenomenon occurring in Humans but acting not on the newborn baby but on the father. Maybe she can repeat it here.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 10:29:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You think humans don't have instincts?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2006 at 11:46:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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