Evolution of animal personalities studied

Jun 05, 2007

A team of Dutch, German and Swedish scientists studying the evolution of animal personality has found animals differ strikingly in character and temperament.

Although only recently has it become evident that personalities are a widespread phenomenon in the animal kingdom, scientists have already described personality differences in more than 60 species, including primates, rodents, birds, fish, insects and mollusks.

Now research led by Max Wolf of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, who is currently at the Santa Fe Institute, is offering an explanation of the evolution of animal personalities.

Wolf -- along with Franjo Weissing of the University of Groningen, Olof Leimar of Stockholm University, and Santa Fe postdoctoral fellow Sander van Doorn -- says in many cases personalities are shaped by a simple underlying principle: the more an individual stands to lose (in terms of future reproduction) the more cautiously it is likely to behave in all kinds of situations and consistently over time.

The research is detailed in the current issue of the journal Nature.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Biologists demonstrate how signals in plant roots determine the activity of stem cells

Related Stories

Project Jacquard to weave interactivity into textiles

35 minutes ago

"Wearables" represents a broad-category of how we will interact with the digital world away from our laptop screens. It embraces arm bands, socks, bracelets, rings and watches. Google is now enhancing that ...

Recommended for you

Insect mating behavior has lessons for drones

2 hours ago

Male moths locate females by navigating along the latter's pheromone (odor) plume, often flying hundreds of meters to do so. Two strategies are involved to accomplish this: males must find the outer envelope ...

Bacterial tenants in fungal quarters

13 hours ago

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich researchers have sequenced the genome of a bacterial symbiont hosted by a mycorrhizal fungus. Analysis of the symbiont's genetic endowment reveals previously unknown ...

Natural enzyme examined as antibiotics alternative

15 hours ago

In 1921, Alexander Fleming discovered the antimicrobial powers of the enzyme lysozyme after observing diminished bacterial growth in a Petri dish where a drop from his runny nose had fallen. The famed Scottish ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.