Evidence of high individual variability in seed management by scatter-hoarding rodents: does ‘personality’ matter?

The predation and dispersal of seeds by scatter-hoarding animals is one of the most studied processes in the context of animal–plant interactions. Seed management by these animals has been traditionally approached at the population level: the patterns documented in the field are assumed to be similar for all individuals of the population and the variability […]

Individual variation in spontaneous problem-solving performance among wild great tits

Behavioural traits generally and cognitive traits in particular are relatively understudied in an evolutionary ecological context. One reason for this is that such traits are often difficult to characterize among large numbers of individuals, without the influence of diverse environmental effects swamping intrinsic individual differences. We conducted standardized assays on a natural population of great […]

Individual differences in metabolism predict coping styles in fish

Studies on metabolism usually rely on measurements of oxygen consumption obtained in respirometry chambers. Despite rigorous standardization there is still considerable inter-individual variation in metabolic rates which is often ignored. Furthermore, housing in respirometry chambers implies handling and exposure to a new environment, conditions known to be a source of stress in animals. The extent […]

Sampling Effort/Frequency Necessary to Infer Individual Acute Stress Responses from Fecal Analysis in Greylag Geese (Anser anser)

Measuring hormone metabolites from excreta is a powerful method to study hormone-behavior relationships. Currently, fecal corticosterone metabolite concentrations are used to estimate individual short-term stress responses. From the free-roaming, semitame flock of greylag geese (Anser anser), as many fecal samples as possible were collected over 3 h following a challenge (social density stress) or in […]

Individual differences in stereotypic behaviour predict individual differences in the nature and degree of enrichment use in caged American mink

Environmental enrichment (EE) reduces stereotypic behaviour (SB), but typically only partially. Using American mink (n = 17) as models, we tested the hypotheses that the effectiveness of EE reflects the degree to which subjects utilise it, and also the SB’s degree of ‘establishment’ (its frequency and within-bout predictability). In Non-Enriched cages, our subjects performed Carnivora-typical […]

Taking the sensory approach: how individual differences in sensory perception can influence mate choice

Many male signallers convey information to female receivers in multimodal courtship displays. While much is known about how males vary in terms of signalling, variation in female detection of these multimodal signals is relatively unexplored. We suggest that there is a critical, albeit underdeveloped, link between multimodal sensory reception and individual variation in mate choice. […]

Linking cortisol responsiveness and aggressive behaviour in gilthead seabream Sparus aurata: Indication of divergent coping styles

Farmed animals, including fish, often exhibit a pronounced individual variation in stress coping styles with proactive and reactive individuals differing in a variety of neuroendocrine and behavioural responses. In this study we disclosed that individual differences in cortisol responsiveness after a restraining test were predictive of aggressive behaviour in gilthead seabream Sparus aurata, one of […]

Differential foraging strategies: motivation, perception and implementation in urban free-ranging dogs, Canis familiaris

Animals exhibit intraspecific variation in foraging behaviour when alternative strategies are likely to fetch greater returns for one individual over another. The mechanisms underlying such variation are often behavioural, physiological or ecological in nature. We studied intraspecific variation in foraging strategies and its possible causes in a population of urban free-ranging dogs by accounting for […]