STEPPING OUT: WEANING AND LEARNING FROM OTHERS

This section is 1 min long, with soundtrack (see also "SILENT CLIPS")

Chapter size: 12 MB (.mpg) or 2 MB (.mov).

Topics and Behaviours covered: multiple paternity, weaning, social learning, information centres, following mother, drinking (see commentary below).

Chapter commentary:
(numbers in bold refer to behaviours also shown in the silent clips)

Three weeks later, and the first new arrivals in the enclosure demonstrate how well the colony is doing. The appearance of the pups is a testimony to the mixed matings in the colony (1).

Within 3 weeks the pups are able to feed by themselves. But first they have to also decide what to eat. To some extent they already have some idea. They will have learned what to expect from the taste of the mother's milk, as well from the smells emanating from other individuals in the colony. The burrows are now acting as "information centres", as the rats carry with them a wide panoply of smells from the outside world…and following the mother is useful too (2).
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