Animal Personalities: Behavior, Physiology, and Evolution
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Ask anyone who has owned a pet and they’ll assure you that, yes, animals have personalities. And science is beginning to agree. Researchers have demonstrated that both domesticated and nondomesticated animals—from invertebrates to monkeys and apes—behave in consistently different ways, meeting the criteria for what many define as personality. But why the differences, and how are personalities shaped by genes and environment? How did they evolve? The essays in Animal Personalities reveal that there is much to learn from our furred and feathered friends.
The study of animal personality is one of the fastest-growing areas of research in behavioral and evolutionary biology. Here Claudio Carere and Dario Maestripieri, along with a host of scholars from fields as diverse as ecology, genetics, endocrinology, neuroscience, and psychology, provide a comprehensive overview of the current research on animal personality. Grouped into thematic sections, chapters approach the topic with empirical and theoretical material and show that to fully understand why personality exists, we must consider the evolutionary processes that give rise to personality, the ecological correlates of personality differences, and the physiological mechanisms underlying personality variation.
provide an important link between individual differences in behavior and underlying physiology. Personality in cephalopods Although cephalopod mollusks are phylogenetically distant from vertebrates, they exhibit high levels of behavioral variability (Mather 1995). This variability has led the researchers studying individual differences in cephalopod behavior to assume the bottom-up approach more commonly seen in assessment of personality in “higher” vertebrates (Gosling 2001). Studies of 26 |
The Bold and the Spineless: Invertebrate Personalities cephalopod mollusks have rarely addressed the ﬁtness ramiﬁcations of traits or syndromes. Rather, researchers have tested animals in common situations and used multivariate analyses to describe personality axes. Octopus rubescens (Mather and Anderson 1999) and O. bimaculoides (Sinn et al. 2001) were evaluated in alerting, threat, and feeding contexts. Initial work on the sepiolid squid, Euprymna tasmanica, examined behavior in the contexts
regulating plate development to a locus that inﬂuences parasite resistance (Colosimo et al. 2005; Miller et al. 2007). Selective predation also strongly inﬂuences retention of the anterior lateral plates, which connect the pelvic girdle and associated spines to the dorsal spines. In combination, these defenses offer signiﬁcant protection from gape-limited predators (Hoogland et al. 1957; Hagen and Gilbertson 1973b; M. A. Bell and Haglund 1978). In addition, both the absence of piscine predators
365, 3959–3968. Yerkes, R. M. 1939. The life history and personality of the chimpanzee. American Naturalist, 73, 97–112. Alexander Weiss and Mark J. Adams | 123 5 Personalities in a Comparative Perspective: What Do Human Psychologists Glean from Animal Personality Studies? SAMUEL D. GOSLING AND PRANJAL H. MEHTA Introduction Comparative research has long played a central role in many areas of psychology, including learning, sensation and perception, memory, and psychopathology (Domjan and
unique opportunities for augmenting traditional human research. So far, much of the animal personality work in psychology has used animal models to understand the biological and environmental bases of personality (e.g., Ray et al. 2006; Willis-Owen and Flint 2007) and to examine how personality is related to various outcome measures, ranging from disease progression to the occurrence of speciﬁc behaviors (e.g., Capitanio et al. 1999; Pederson et al. 2005). The studies have addressed questions