FILIAL IMPRINTING IN AN ALTRICIAL BIRD: THE BLACKBIRD (TURDUS MERULA) by FELIX JUNCO1) (Departamento de Psicologia, Universidad de Oviedo, C/Valdés Salas, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain) (With 6 Figures) (Acc. 25-XI-1987) Introduction Since LORENZ (1935) emphasized the importance of imprinting, many experimental studies have been set up to discover the fundamental char- acteristics of this process (SLUCKIN, 1964; BATESON, 1966; HESS, 1973). A careful review of the literature on the subject shows that almost all studies deal with imprinting of a few species of precocial birds. If one understands this phenomenon as 'following behaviour' or as 'learning to follow' (MOLTZ, 1963) it would be nonsense to consider it in other species than nidifugous ones. We regard imprinting as a process, or set of pro- cesses, that restricts social preferences in the breeding of certain species to a specific class of objects (BATESON, 1966). Through imprinting the young animal is able to learn the visual and/or acoustical characteristics of its species and to direct its filial, and then sexual, behaviour towards its conspecifics. The main evidence about the existence of imprinting in altricial birds comes from the work on sexual imprinting (CRAIG, 1908; Nicolai, 1956; KLINGHAMMER & HESS, 1964; BROSSET, 1971;
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1988
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