Consistency of temperament in bighorn ewes and correlates with behaviour and life history

Individual differences in temperament may affect how animals react to novel situations, avoid predation, invest in reproduction and behave in a variety of social contexts. Little information is available, however, about individual differences in temperament for wild animals. For bighorn sheep, Ovis canadensis, ewes captured as part of a long-term study, we compared behaviour during […]

Growth-mortality tradeoffs and ‘personality traits’ in animals

Consistent individual differences in boldness, reactivity, aggressiveness, and other ‘personality traits’ in animals are stable within individuals but vary across individuals, for reasons which are currently obscure. Here, I suggest that consistent individual differences in growth rates encourage consistent individual differences in behavior patterns that contribute to growth-mortality tradeoffs. This hypothesis predicts that behavior patterns […]

A Genetic Analysis of Avian Personality Traits: Correlated, Response to Artificial Selection

Individuals in a range of species consistently differ in their behavior towards mild challenges, over age and time. Differences have been found for several personality traits in a range of species. In great tits these traits have a genetic basis and are phenotypically correlated. Estimates of genetic correlations are, however, fundamental to understanding the evolution […]

Shyness and boldness in pumpkinseed sunfish: individual differences are context-specific

Natural selection often promotes a mix of behavioural phenotypes in a population. Adaptive variation in the propensity to take risks might explain individual differences in shyness and boldness in humans and other species. It is often implicitly assumed that shyness and boldness are general personality traits expressed across many situations. From the evolutionary standpoint, however, […]

Personality and foraging decisions in fallow deer, Dama dama

Recent studies have examined the ecological and evolutionary bases for variation in animal personality. However, only a few such studies have examined how foraging parameters are influenced by different personality domains. In wild ungulates, the trade-off between the time spent on food intake and antipredator behaviour differs between individuals, but the underlying reason for this […]

Rehabilitation of research chimpanzees: Stress and coping after long-term isolation

We report on the permanent retirement of chimpanzees from biomedical research and on resocialization after long-term social isolation. Our aim was to investigate to what extent behavioral and endocrine measures of stress in deprived laboratory chimpanzees can be improved by a more species-typical social life style. Personality in terms of novelty responses, social dominance after […]

Do rapid assays predict repeatability in labile (behavioural) traits?


Environmental Enrichment Reduces Maladaptive Risk-Taking Behavior in Salmon Reared for Conservation

Hatcheries often produce bold fish that are maladapted to survive in the wild, as absence of predators and selection for fast growth tend to favour risk-taking behaviors. Not surprisingly, losses of hatchery fish through predation can be high immediately after release and this may account for the failure of many ex-situ fish conservation programmes. For […]

Reducing the incidence of net cage biting and the expression of escape-related behaviors in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) with feeding and cage enrichment

The escape of fish from aquaculture is a persistent economic problem for farmers as well as an environmental problem that threatens wild fish population as a consequence of potential negative ecological and genetic interactions. Farmed Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) cause significant damage by biting the net and creating holes through which they escape. We determined […]

Stress responsiveness, age and body condition interactively affect flight initiation distance in breeding female eiders

Predation may drive differential selection among personality types, but the mechanism linking personality with predation risk is poorly understood. One such mechanism may be provided by stress hormones (corticosterone in birds), which are linked to boldness towards predators. However, because of feedbacks between boldness and future fitness expectations, the relationship between boldness and stress physiology […]