Female mating preferences, lighting environment, and a test of the sensory bias hypothesis in the bluefin killifish

Sensory drive proposes that environmental conditions affect signalling dynamics and the evolution of signals and receivers. For visual systems, delineating the effects of lighting on mating preferences is difficult because lighting conditions can affect preferences via three mechanisms: (1) genetic differentiation in mating preferences can result from selection under different lighting conditions, (2) development under […]

Dampened Behavioral and Physiological Responses Mediate Birds’ Association With Humans

The study of the mechanisms involved in phenotypic adaptations or plasticity to environmental stressors may serve to evaluate contemporary ecological and evolutionary dynamics in threatened or growing wildlife populations. By addressing human disturbance as a main stressor agent, we investigated antipredator response (flushing distance), social behavior (degree of gregarism), health (fecal pathogens), and endocrine status […]

Plasticity of Boldness in Rainbow Trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss: Do Hunger and Predation Influence Risk-Taking Behaviour?

Boldness, a measure of an individual’s propensity for taking risks, is an important determinant of fitness but is not necessarily a fixed trait. Dependent upon an individual’s state, and given certain contexts or challenges, individuals may be able to alter their inclination to be bold or shy in response. Furthermore, the degree to which individuals […]

Problem-solving performance is correlated with reproductive success in a wild bird population

Although interindividual variation in problem-solving ability is well documented, its relation to variation in fitness in the wild remains unclear. We investigated the relationship between performance on a problem-solving task and measures of reproductive success in a wild population of great tits, Parus major. We presented breeding pairs during the nestling provisioning period with a […]

Behavioural responses to season and adult sex ratio in the fantail darter Etheostoma flabellare

Social behaviours such as competition for mates, which can indicate the strength and direction of sexual selection, may change either directly or indirectly in response to the operational sex ratio (OSR). Field studies indicate flexibility in social behaviours in response to a changing OSR, in particular as the OSR changes across the breeding season. Remaining […]

The function of strategic tree selectivity in the chemical signalling of brown bears

Large mammals select conspicuous objects on which to deposit their scent marks, which may function to supplement the olfactory signal, visually and/or chemically. Analysing marking sites is paramount to understanding whether signallers could mitigate potential fitness costs by placing scents strategically to reduce time and energy investment. The defining characteristics of marking sites are unclear […]

Environmental change alters personality in the rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss

Boldness is a personality trait that defines how individuals respond to risky situations and has clear fitness consequences. Since the adaptive value of boldness is context dependent, the benefit of a distinct personality is less clear when the environment is unpredictable. An ability to modulate behaviour can be beneficial, although as behavioural plasticity itself may […]

Delay, avoidance and protection in oviposition behaviour in response to fine-scale variation in egg parasitism risk

Organisms that do not provide parental care are challenged with multiple factors and risks in the selection of an oviposition site. Oviposition site selection greatly affects offspring fitness, but little is known about how females respond to fine-scale variation in environmental cues. The seed beetle, Mimosestes amicus, shows remarkable behavioural plasticity in response to variation […]

Social recognition is context dependent in single male prairie voles

Single males might benefit from knowing the identity of neighbouring males when establishing and defending boundaries. Similarly, males should discriminate between individual females if this leads to more reproductive opportunities. Contextual social cues may alter the value of learning identity. Knowing the identity of competitors that intrude into an animal’s territory may be more salient […]

Coping strategies in captive capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp.)

Studies on diverse species indicate the existence of individual differences in stress coping strategies labelled as ‘proactive’ and ‘reactive’. Identifying taxonomic distribution of such coping strategies is fundamental to evolutionary models and to management of captive animals. Capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp.) are neotropical primates noted for their cognitive skills and behavioural plasticity. The capuchin clade […]