Two shades of boldness: novel object and anti-predator behavior reflect different personality dimensions in domestic rabbits
2014 (English)In: Journal of ethology, ISSN 0289-0771, E-ISSN 1439-5444, Vol. 32, no 3, 123-136 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
It is increasingly common to quantify and describe behavioral variation in domestic and wild animals in terms of personality. Correlating behavioral traits are referred to as personality dimensions or factors and different dimensions have been reported in different species. Boldness is a well-described personality dimension in several species, although some issues remain unclear. Previous models of boldness include both novelty and risk taking, but recent studies indicate that these types of behaviors may reflect separate personality dimensions. In this study, we developed a behavioral test battery for domestic rabbits, and recorded behaviors of 61 individuals in four different situations (novel object, novel arena, social, and predator interactions). We used domestic rabbits as a model because behavioral variation in rabbits has rarely been quantified in terms of personality dimensions, although rabbit behavior is described. We also wanted to investigate behavioral variation in a Swedish rabbit breed of conservation concern - the Gotland rabbit. Factor analysis of the behavioral test measures suggested three personality dimensions: exploration, boldness, and anxiety. Novel object scores clustered in the exploration and boldness factors, whereas scores associated with predator interactions were explained by anxiety, indicating that novel object and anti-predator behavior reflect different personality dimensions in rabbits.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 32, no 3, 123-136 p.
Behavioral variation, Personality factor, Factor analysis, Biodiversity conservation, Traditional breed, Gotland rabbit
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107611DOI: 10.1007/s10164-014-0401-9ISI: 000340682700001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-107611DiVA: diva2:750108