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Name: mary
Status: other
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 4/29/2004


Question:
Awhile ago, I had an encounter with a swan, and I thought it was very interesting. I hope you can enlighten me. I was on a jet ski waitng for a friend to launch a boat.I was slowly idling around at the launching docks. I noticed 2 adult swans and one smaller one swimming around off in the distance. Paying no attention, I patiently waited for my friend. Unaware to me, but as I sat there, one of the swans was suddenly about 5 feet away from me. I was pleasantly surprised. I did not notice any defensive behavior, it was just sitting there. But this swan started to "copy cat" my every move. If I spun in a circle, it spun in a circle. If I slowly increased my speed,and proceeded in a straight line, it did the same. If turned to my left or right, it did the same. This went on for a few minutes.It made no sounds and just sat there if I did the same.I was not near the other 2 swans, they were off in the distance. Was this actually some form of defensive behavior that myself,as a lay person, would be unaware of, or just a characteristic nature of the species?


Replies:
Mimicing behavior is well known to occur in almost all animals...in young animals such as geese it is very well documented that young geese imprint the behavior of even humans that they are associated with. I have watched dogs numerous time watch another dog and mimic their behavior...it is a bit harder to pick up a dog mimicing human behavior but I have seen this also.

PF


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