Mallard ducks fed a diet containing 3 ppm DDE (equal to about 0.6 ppm in a natural succulent diet) laid eggs that contained an average of 5.8 ppm DDE; ducklings that hatched from these eggs differed from controls in behavioral tests designed to measure responses to a maternal call and to a frightening stimulus. In response to the maternal call, ducklings from parents fed DDE were hyper-responsive; compared to controls, a greater percentage approached the call and a greater percentage of those that approached remained near the call for the remainder of the test. In a test of avoidance behavior, ducklings whose parents were fed DDE traveled shorter distances from the firghtening stimulus than did controls.
Additional Publication Details
Behavior of mallard ducklings from parents fed 3 ppm DDE
Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology