THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL RELATIONS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF SPECIES RECOGNITION IN ZEBRA FINCH MALES by CAREL TEN CATE1) (Zoological Laboratory, University of Groningen, P.O. Box 14, 9750 AA Haren, The Netherlands) (With 4 Figures) (Ace. 6-IV-1984) Introduction In a number of bird species it has been shown that early experience may affect later partner choice (e.g. ScHUTZ, 1965; KLINGHAMMER, 1967; IMMELMANN, 1972b). A well known example is the zebra finch. If zebra finch males are raised by Bengalese finch foster parents they prefer Bengalese finch females over conspecific ones as sexual partners (IM- MELMANN, 1969a). This phenomenon is often called 'sexual imprinting'. Just as is the case with filial imprinting (SLUCKIN, 1972), it is often con- sidered to be a consequence of a perceptual learning process in which a period of exposure to certain objects or birds leads to a preference for these objects or birds as sexual partners. A lot of research has been carried out on the kind of stimuli that affect imprinting and the period during which exposure gives the strongest ef- fect on the later preference (e.g. HINDE, 1970). Little attention has been given to the mechanisms of early perceptual learning. Some experiments
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1984
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