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I just watched a German talk show "Nachtstudio" with the title "Die Graugans und der Mensch" (Gosling and People) about the legacy of the famous ethologist and Nobel Prize winner Konrad Lorenz (https://youtu.be/hLkWhGieZvQ). All the participating guests were former students of Lorenz. One statement in the show made by Bernd Lötsch amused me.

At the point where the conversation was about the famous experiment of Lorenz with geese, Lötsch said that Lorenz was lucky that he had selected goslings for his experiment. He continued by saying that if he had chosen ostriches, it would be likely that the ostrich would have tried to mate with him once it had reached maturity (Lötsch 1988).

Amused by his statement and without any deeper understanding of biological theories (I'm a physicist by training), I would like to ask for critical reflections on Lötsch's statement. I would also appreciate hearing about any studies which examine hypotheses such as this.

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  • $\begingroup$ Dogs some to mind. But the real issue is proving it, A lot of animals aren't terribly picky about mates. $\endgroup$ – John Oct 17 at 2:33
  • $\begingroup$ Content warning: frisky kākāpō ahead youtu.be/9T1vfsHYiKY $\endgroup$ – Michael MacAskill Oct 17 at 7:21

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