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Long-term recognition of father's song by female zebra finches


RECENTLY, attention has been directed at the question of how sexual imprinting, or the development of mating preferences, affects assortative mating within polymorphic species1–3 and regulates the extent of inbreeding and outbreeding in a population4–6. It may be selectively advantageous for a young organism to learn individual characteristics of parents and/or siblings to avoid subsequent mating with kin as well as to avoid hybridisation by not mating with individuals that differ greatly from rearing partners4–6. I report here that adult female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) can recognise the song of their own father after a period of early exposure followed by more than 2 months of separation while attaining sexual maturity.

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MILLER, D. Long-term recognition of father's song by female zebra finches. Nature 280, 389–391 (1979).

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