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Beyond Nature and Nurture

Are you well-mannered and sociable? Thank your parents — if you're a quail chick.

By Diana Kwon
Oct 1, 2015 5:00 AMNov 12, 2019 5:27 AM
Japanese quail chicks (Coturnix japonica) | Gendalf1996/iStock


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The more your parents bond before you’re born, the better adjusted you’ll be — at least if you’re a Japanese quail. Researchers at the University of Rennes in France studied how bonding in this monogamous species might affect their progeny. They looked at 30 male-female pairs, some of which developed close bonds by staying together all the time, while others met just three times a week for sex. Those bonds mattered: Chicks from the tight-knit parents were more social and less fearful.

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