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: Largest genetic survey to date shows major success of giant panda breeding programs

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Brain of world's first known predators discovered

13 hours ago

An international team of paleontologists has identified the exquisitely preserved brain in the fossil of one of the world's first known predators that lived in the Lower Cambrian, about 520 million years ...

Tracking the breakup of Arctic summer sea ice

16 hours ago

As sea ice begins to melt back toward its late September minimum, it is being watched as never before. Scientists have put sensors on and under ice in the Beaufort Sea for an unprecedented campaign to monitor ...

Head formation of clawed frog embryos

Jul 11, 2014

On July 9, 2014, Dr. Yuuri Yasuoka in the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University's Marine Genomics Unit, published a research paper explaining a key mechanism in formation of ...

Baboons groom early in the day to get benefits later

Jul 11, 2014

Social animals often develop relationships with other group members to reduce aggression and gain access to scarce resources. In wild chacma baboons the strategy for grooming activities shows a certain pattern ...

Chimpanzee intelligence determined by genes

Jul 10, 2014

A chimpanzee's intelligence is largely determined by its genes, while environmental factors may be less important than scientists previously thought, according to a Georgia State University research study.

Recommended for you

User comments : 0