Science Nugget with Daga | Episode 3 | Imprinting

How does a chick recognise its mother after hatching? Is it infused in its genetic structure, or is there another explanation entirely? In this episode, watch Vardhanam Daga explain the phenomenon known as ‘imprinting’.

Imprinting was first reported in domestic chickens by amateur biologist Douglas Spalding. Later it was rediscovered by Oskar Heinroth. However, it was Konraz Lorenz who studied and popularised the concept. He demonstrated that imprinting worked within a ‘critical period’, which lasted between 13-16 hours after hatching.

Konrad Lorenz was Nobel Prize winning zoologist, ethologist and ornithologist, and considered as one of the founders of ethology (study of animal behaviour). 

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