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Personality and foraging decisions in fallow deer, Dama dama
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Ethology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8103-1591
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Ethology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3187-3555
2011 (English)In: Animal Behaviour, ISSN 0003-3472, E-ISSN 1095-8282, Vol. 81, no 1, 101-112 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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 is not yet well understood. One possibility is that this trade-off reflects personality dimensions such as boldness. To relate foraging decisions to personality we measured personality and performed feeding experiments with familiar and novel food in familiar and novel situations. We measured personality traits in 15 tame fallow deer, using novel object tests (NO), behavioural observations (BO) and personality ratings (PR). Boldness dimensions were found using PR and NO, dominance dimensions were found using BO and PR, and a flexibility dimension was found using BO. Multitrait–multimethod analysis showed that similar dimensions were significantly correlated across different methods and that different dimensions were not significantly correlated, even if measured using the same method. We also found that novel food eaten in familiar situations and familiar food eaten in novel situations were strongly related to boldness but not dominance, flexibility or age. Thus the trade-off between the benefits of gaining more food and the costs of reduced vigilance or increased toxin ingestion reflect boldness. These findings highlight the nature of personality dimensions in ungulates and how boldness impacts foraging behaviour.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 81, no 1, 101-112 p.
Keyword [en]
antipredator behaviour, boldness, Dama dama, dominance, fallow deer, foraging, novelty, personality
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Research subject
Animal Ecology; Psychology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-49669DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.09.018ISI: 000285412900014OAI: diva2:379177
Available from: 2010-12-17 Created: 2010-12-17 Last updated: 2015-04-20

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Bergvall, Ulrika ASchäpers, Alexander
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