A researcher studying the learned behavior known as imprinting collects a group of duck eggs and places them in an incubator. He also provides water and nourishment inside the incubator. On his way home, he is in an auto accident that leaves him incapacitated for two days. When he finally makes it back to the lab, he finds that all of the eggs have hatched, and all the ducklings are waddling around inside. He removes them from the incubator and then attempts to get them to follow him. However, no matter how many attempts he makes, the ducklings seem to waddle aimlessly around. What is the most likely explanation for the ducklings behavior?

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    The researcher does not look like or act like a mother duck, so the ducklings naturally would not follow him.
    The unnatural surroundings of the incubator caused a permanent alteration in the ducklings learning ability..
    The researcher missed the sensitive period in which imprinting could occur in the ducklings.
    The fact that the ducklings could get food and water on their own caused them to learn that they did not need to follow anyone to get the necessities of life.
asked May 19, 2013 in Biology by anonymous
    

1 Answer

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The researcher missed the sensitive period in which imprinting could occur in the ducklings.
answered May 20, 2013 by Bioshare ~Top Expert~ (34,070 points)

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