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 […]

Multifaceted Approach to Personality Assessment in Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)

– The purpose of this study was to assess the personality of 17 South African cheetahs at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. A multifaceted approach of observer ratings (rating method), behavioral data (coding method) and hormone monitoring was used to examine individual differences. Knowledge of these individual differences, i.e., personality, is essential to better […]

Serial Cognition and Personality in Macaques

We examined the associations between serial cognition and personality in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Nine macaques were tested on a simultaneous chaining task to assess their cognitive abilities. They were also rated for personality traits and scored according to a previously extracted six component structure derived from free-ranging rhesus macaques. Friendliness and Openness were positively […]

Boldness-mediated habitat use tactics and reproductive success in a wild large herbivore

The balance between resource acquisition and risk avoidance should vary according to personality type, with potential knock-on effects for fitness. Although previous studies have suggested a link between boldness and fitness components, little evidence is available on the behavioural mechanisms mediating this relationship in the wild. Because habitat use is the outcome of the trade-off […]

Don’t poke the bear: using tracking data to quantify behavioural syndromes in elusive wildlife

Animal personality traits and the emergence of behavioural syndromes, i.e. between-individual correlation of behaviours, are commonly quantified from behavioural observations in controlled environments. Subjecting large and elusive wildlife to controlled test situations is, however, rarely possible, suggesting that ecologists should exploit alternative measures of behaviours for quantifying differences between individuals. Our goal was to test […]

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 […]

Mixed support for state maintaining risky personality traits in yellow-bellied marmots

In a variety of taxa, individuals behave in consistently different ways. However, there are relatively few studies that empirically test the potential mechanisms underlying the causes and maintenance of these personality differences. Several hypotheses for the causes and maintenance of risky personality traits have been suggested but all have received mixed support. Both the pace-of-life […]

Personality types vary in their personal and social information use

Gathering information about the environment, such as the location and quality of food, is crucial for an animal’s survival, particularly in a changing environment. An animal can collect ‘personal information’ by interacting with the environment itself, or it can collect ‘social information’ by observing the behaviour of others. The use of these two types of […]

Personality, environmental stressors, and diarrhea in Rhesus macaques: An interactionist perspective

Previous research has repeatedly shown both personality and psychological stress to predict gastrointestinal disorders and chronic diarrhea in humans. The goal of the present research was to evaluate the role of personality, as well as psychological stressors (i.e., housing relocations and rearing environment), in predicting chronic diarrhea in captive Rhesus macaques, with particular attention to […]

Coping style and cortisol levels in infancy predict hair cortisol following new group formation in captive rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)

Social instability in primate groups has been used as a model to understand how social stress affects human populations. While it is well established that individual cercopithecines have different temperaments or personalities, little is known about how temperament mediates the experience of social instability in large, naturalistic groups. Here, we report findings from a study […]