The two ducklings below are named Biggie and ‘Pac and they regard Yogi the Corgi as their mother. How can this be you ask? Well let us put on our smart glasses and tell you how. It’s due to the biological process of imprinting: First suggested by 19th century amateur biologist Douglas Spalding, imprinting was made famous by zoologist Konrad Lorenz through his studies with geese. This type of imprinting, where an animal establishes a parental relationship is called filial imprinting. Lorenz’s experiments showed that geese hatched in an incubator would imprint on the first “suitable” thing they saw, during a time he called the critical period (between 13-16 hours after hatching).
According to Discovery News:
Sara Hallager, a bird biologist at the National Zoo; “All baby birds, when they’re born, the first thing they see, which is usually the same species, is what they imprint on.”
So how did this duckling duo end up thinking a dog was their parent? It turns out it wasn’t part of the original plan when Frances Marsh, 25, and her family bought two two-day-old ducklings at a local garden center near their home in Atlantic Beach, N.C.
Yogi, the family’s 5-year-old corgi, was in the car that day and was instantly fascinated by the family’s purchase.
“They were in a little box. He just leaned his head over and licked them,” Marsh said.
Ever since, the ducklings, Biggie and ‘Pac, have chosen to follow Yogi, as if he were their mother.
Basically, Yogi found out that the rule for ducklings is the same as the rule for a box of chocolates: You lick it, it’s yours.
We wonder if the corgi will teach his ducklings to ‘corgi flop‘…