How Animal Imprinting Works


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Author's note: How Animal Imprinting Works

Folk wisdom tells us that childhood is an impressionable time. The Jesuits have the saying, "Give me a child until he is 7 and I will give you the man." And of course, we have the animal adage, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." These sayings imply there's something special about youth: A young person or animal is moldable and teachable. On the same token, this means that whatever is taught during this impressionable period will be difficult or impossible to unteach later. In the animal world, the fascinating phenomenon of animal imprinting supports this theory.

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