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On the Development of Social Attachments in Birds

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

In this paper some recent work from our laboratory on the development of social attachments is reviewed and related to current thinking in the field of sexual imprinting. Major factors likely to affect attachment of a developing individual are stimulus value of, and age and duration of exposure to, companions. Some limitations of the use of these factors in current experimental research are discussed. It is argued that, in order to understand the long-term effects of early attachments, future research should direct more attention to analyse the behavioural situation at the time early attachments are developing, as well as at the time that later effects are measured.

Affiliations: 1: (Department of Zoology, University of Groningen, Postbox 14, 9750 AA Haren, The Netherlands


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