How do Some Animals Recognize their Offspring?

            It is said that only man has highly developed reasoning faculties and hence, can think, act and talk. Animals, too, have their own superior senses that excel man in certain activities. For example, dogs have deep smell and hearing sense that man does not have. Similarly, like human beings, animals have offspring and take care of them. But how do these animals recognize their young ones?

Animals use their sense to recognize their young ones

            For most animals where parental care is essential, it is important for the mother and her young ones to recognize each other, so that they do not lose contact. This is done through one or more of the five senses- smell, sound, sight, touch and taste. Most mammals recognize their offspring’s by smell. This is also observed among dogs, deer, sheep, horses and seals.

            It is interesting to note that in a flock of sheep, every mother can recognize her own young one by smell, and ignore others. When around one is born, its mother sniffs the newborn baby and the smell is immediately registered in its memory for life. Thereafter, the mother locates her baby b sniffing all the babies around until she finds her own lamb.

            Birds recognize their young ones b sound. Each parent bird has her own special mother call which the baby immediately recognizes on hatching, and the mother can also recognize the baby’s cry. An Austrian naturalist, Dr. Konard Lorenz, made a special study of geese. He conducted his study just before some geese eggs were about to hatch. He removed the mother goose and sat by he eggs himself. As the babies hatched, he gave the mother call. As a result, they be followed him every where believing him to be their mother, as they recognized only that sound, but since, he was too big for the young geese, they got confused when he stood up. However, they were quite happy to follow him when he crawled about on his hands and knees.