Maternal experience influences the establishment of visual/auditory, but not olfactory recognition of the newborn lamb by ewes at parturition.
Dev. Psychobiol.. 2003-10-07; 43(3): 167-176
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1. Dev Psychobiol. 2003 Nov;43(3):167-76.
Maternal experience influences the establishment of visual/auditory, but not
olfactory recognition of the newborn lamb by ewes at parturition.
Keller M(1), Meurisse M, Poindron P, Nowak R, Ferreira G, Shayit M, Lévy F.
(1)Equipe Comportement, PRC, UMR 6073 INRA/CNRS/Université de Tours, Nouzilly,
Maternal behavior in sheep is characterized by the rapid establishment of
individual recognition of the lamb through the use of different sensory
modalities. Olfactory recognition mediates acceptance at suckling whereas
visual/auditory cues are involved in recognition from a distance. This study
investigates (a) the timing of both types of recognition and (b) whether they can
be influenced by maternal experience. Olfactory recognition was assessed at
lambing, 30 min, 1, 2, or 4 hr postpartum by presenting successively an alien and
the familiar lamb. Recognition at a distance was assessed at 6, 8, and 12 hr
postpartum by using a two-choice test between the familiar and an alien lamb. A
majority (33/51) of ewes showed selectivity at suckling as early as 30 min after
parturition, and no differences due to maternal experience were observed. By
contrast, in the two-choice recognition test, multiparous ewes showed a
preference for their familiar lamb at 6 hr whereas primiparous mothers did so
only after 24 hr of mother-young contact: The performance of biparous mothers was
intermediate. Thus, both types of recognition can be rapidly established after
parturition, and maternal experience has a differential effect on the dynamics of
these learning processes.
Copyright 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 43: 167-176, 2003.
PMID: 14558039 [Indexed for MEDLINE]