Rating Methodology, Personality Axes, and Behavioral Plasticity: A Case Study in African Lions

Animal personality refers to individual differences in behavior that are consistent across time and across contexts. As it plays an ecological and evolutionary role for many animals by affecting fitness, it is likely to play a role in how both species and individuals fare in captivity. Assessment of animal personality by caretaker ratings has been […]

Behavioural syndromes and trappability in free-living collared flycatchers, Ficedula albicollis

The concept of behavioural syndromes hypothesizes that consistent behaviours across various situations mediate important life history trade-offs, and predicts correlations among behavioural traits. We studied the consistency of behavioural responses across three ecological situations (exploration of an environment altered with a novel object, aggression towards conspecifics, risk taking) in male collared flycatchers. We developed behavioural […]

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 […]

Searching for Differences in the Behavioural Response of Piglet Groups Subjected to Novel Situations

The Backtest (BT), the Open Field (OF) and the Novel Object (NO) tests have been used to identify individual reaction patterns in piglets and to measure parameters that previous studies have shown to be correlated to the coping strategies of animals. The BT allows for the classification of piglets into two different “coping styles”: high-resisting […]

Personality differences are related to long-term stress reactivity in a population of wild eastern chipmunks, Tamias striatus

Consistent individual behavioural differences in exploration, docility and boldness are often correlated and are associated with differences in short-term neurophysiological responses to environmental perturbations in many animal species. These physiological mechanisms are much less studied over longer periods in wild populations. Here we report the relationships among exploration, docility measured in open-field tests and trappability, […]

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 […]

Applied personality assessment in domestic dogs: Limitations and caveats

Modern behavioural tests for domestic dogs are commonly employed across a variety of fields, including the assessment of companion, assistance, working and sporting dogs. While there is increasing scientific attention on the development and evaluation of behavioural tests used to assess personality, a lack of robust assessment of the validity and reliability of many test […]