Animals that leave marks on one another

Ducklings imprint after hatching like geese. Ducks are more prey. They can avoid some predators by fast imprinting and swimming. While ducks imprint, many species adopt orphaned ducklings.


After hatching, goslings stick close to their parents. They imprint on the first animal they see to help them find their way home. Geese eggs that are imprinted may begin to follow their caregivers.


Raccoon orphans are often rehabilitated. During nursing, humans must avoid imprinting on neonates and losing their fear. Imprinted raccoons must be maintained as pets or killed.


Infants learn to trust their mother's scent and will follow her to the breast and away from danger. For many predators, including humans, guinea pigs are a prime source of nutrition.

Guinea Pigs

Zebras mingle to avoid predators. Baby zebras must quickly imprint and memorise their stripes. Isolated baby zebras are killed by predators. After birth, baby zebras are mobile and can stay with their mother in the herd.


Chickens are also precocial. Chicks follow their mother soon after hatching. She and the rooster will guard them from raptors, raccoons, and snakes. The hen will educate them to discover bugs and fresh plant shoots.


Hyenas are matriarchal. Males are at the bottom of the totem pole. All females in a group can mate and produce 1-2 pups, unlike wolves. Puppies are born with teeth and eyes open and must bond with their mother.


After birth, baby turkeys stick close to their parents to avoid danger. There is less of a health risk when eating a domestic turkey that has been raised in free range conditions.


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