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Look Out Einstein, Ducklings Are Also Abstract Thinkers

According to CDA News, scientists discovered that during the critical “imprinting stage at which ducklings learn to recognize their mothers, they can also make abstract decisions.

The study exposed ducklings to two pairs of shapes. The first was a matching pair, such as cones. The second consisted of two different shapes. The ducklings were exposed to the objects for a time and then removed from the training enclosure.

Later the ducklings were exposed to two other pairs of objects, again one matching and one mix-matched. Nearly 70 percent of the birds were drawn to the pair with the relationship of the one they had imprinted on in the training enclosure.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, this suggests that the ducklings had “successfully learned the relational concept of same versus different.

“We really did go into this expecting them not to be able to do this. We were shocked not only that they did it, but also that they did it with such accuracy, admits researcher Antone Martinho.

The article concludes:
This new information allows us to understand that humans are simply not the only species that understands the relationships between space and objects. …
… [D]ucklings, once imprinted, will be able to recognize their mother even with a varying degree of changes.
This study and many others prove that animals, including farmed animals, are complex thinkers.

They’re also just as sensitive as the dogs and cats we love at home.

If you care about animals, the best way to help them is to leave them off your plate. In fact, a vegan spares the lives of about 30 animals per year!

Click here to learn more.