Personality in captive killer whales (Orcinus orca): A rating approach based on the five-factor model

The comparative study of animal personality has received great interest in recent years. Some studies have analyzed personalities in cetaceans (exclusively in dolphins), but none have analyzed the factorial structure of personality of any species in this order. Our objective was to evaluate a sample of captive killer whales (n = 24) adapting one of […]

Animal personality due to social niche specialisation

The existence of ‘animal personality’, i.e. consistent individual differences in behaviour across time and contexts, is an evolutionary puzzle that has recently generated considerable research interest. Although social factors are generally considered to be important, it is as yet unclear how they might select for personality. Drawing from ecological niche theory, we explore how social […]

Unravelling animal personalities: how and why individuals consistently differ

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Behavioural reaction norms: animal personality meets individual plasticity

Recent studies in the field of behavioural ecology have revealed intriguing variation in behaviour within single populations. Increasing evidence suggests that individual animals differ in their average level of behaviour displayed across a range of contexts (animal ‘personality’), and in their responsiveness to environmental variation (plasticity), and that these phenomena can be considered complementary aspects […]

Are we barking up the right tree? Evaluating a comparative approach to personality

Animal studies can enrich the field of human personality psychology by addressing questions that are difficult or impossible to address with human studies alone. However, the benefits of a comparative approach to personality cannot be reaped until the tenability of the personality construct has been established in animals. Using criteria established in the wake of […]

Behavioral differences as predictors of breeding status in captive cheetahs

Abstract 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2361(1999)18:43.3.CO;2-O Individual behavioral variation of 44 adult captive-born cheetahs, Acinonyx jubatus, was assessed using observer and keeper ratings on a variety of behavioral attributes. Inter-rater consensus was high for most questionnaire items, several of which were significantly correlated with direct behavioral measures recorded in a mirror-image experiment. Principal component analysis was applied to identify […]

Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) in U.S. zoos: I. individual behavior profiles and their relationship to breeding success

Abstract This is the first part of a multi-zoo study to analyze the effects of captive environments on black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) behavior, breeding success, and well-being. We estimated the reliability and validity of a standardized method of cross-institutional assessment of the behavior of individual rhinoceros. In 1994 and 1995, we asked zookeepers at 19 […]

Collective personalities in honeybee colonies are linked to colony fitness

Personality differences (i.e. consistent between-individual differences in behaviour) play an important role in the lives of humans and other animals, influencing both their day-to-day actions and their long-term reproductive success. For organisms living in highly structured groups of related individuals, such as colonies of social insects, personalities could also emerge at the group level. However, […]

Consistency of personality traits in dogs

We investigated the consistency of behaviour over repeated tests in dogs, Canis familiaris. Dogs were tested three times, with an average of 30 and 35 days between tests. The behavioural test used in the study included 10 subtests that exposed dogs to various situations, such as the appearance of an unfamiliar person, play, preylike objects, […]

Sex influences rat personality more than geographical origin

The Norway rat is an indispensable model organism. Behavioral studies on rats usually concentrate on a single trait without considering how different behaviors are linked to each other and whether there are differences in this respect between rat strains or sexes. This study aims to describe the personality structure of the Norway rat, and investigate […]