eli5: How do baby animals like jaguar cubs and fox pups know to wait for their mom when she goes out hunting without wandering away from the den and getting lost?

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eli5: How do baby animals like jaguar cubs and fox pups know to wait for their mom when she goes out hunting without wandering away from the den and getting lost?

In: Biology
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Some don’t. Survival of the fittest in this case… Usually they depend on generations of instinct though. It probably helps that the father is usually there too.

Baby animals operate with a lot of instinctive behaviors – things that are hard-coded into the structure of their brains from day one.

They don’t have to be taught to not wander far from mom, they always knew because it’s in their genetics.

Baby animals that didn’t have this behavior baked in were less likely to survive, and over many generations it has been strongly reinforced.

The den is heavily embedded with the mother’s scent and they have their siblings to keep them company. They will generally only head out if they get hungry enough. The mother will also train them to stay in the den.