Saturday, November 17, 2007


The Informed Reader (A8) brought up something from the Nov. 15 Scientific American that I've known for some time: if a baby animal doesn't bond with its mother at birth, and if the mother doesn't "stick around," that baby will bond with the next adult (or "even an object") it sees. Cases in point:
  • "[A] researcher with a group of goslings" -- there have been a few instances of this. These infant geese followed a "moving target," a.k.a. the process of imprinting.
  • "A female whooping crane reared in captivity later showed no interest in the company of male cranes -- she only laid an egg after a human moved in with her." This one is, understandably, more than a little weird.
Although this biological phenomenon is fairly common, it could potentially be construed in the future as support for alternative lifestyles. Think about it a bit.

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