How Do Animals Teach Survival Skills To Their Young?

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In order to eat, young creatures who live by the sea need to learn how to fish. Seals, sea lions and polar bears will dive into the water and come up with a fish. Then they release it in front of their hungry youngsters. This encourages them to grab the prey before it can escape. It does not take very long for these animals to become quite adept at fishing.

How important it is that these young creatures learn all they can about getting food! Once they are big enough to fend for themselves, their parents' interest in feeding them will shut down by instinct. And they will be on their own.

Survival also includes avoiding dangers. A mother deer teaches her fawn to fear man by herself demonstrating such fear at the sight or scent of man.
When a she-wolf comes near a trap with her cubs for the first time, she shows great fear. Her young ones see her reaction and are helped to learn that traps are to be avoided.

The defense reactions of animals against dangers appear to be acquired mainly by learning. Giant rats that were born in captivity in Paris, France, did not react to a large python. They even approached it calmly and sniffed at its snout. But their parents violently attacked the snake, having evidently become acquainted with it in their native Africa. The same was true of young chimpanzees. Relatively speaking, they, too, were indifferent to a snake, although adults of their kind showed great fear of it.

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