PhD student Anne Sabol co-authored a paper on personality of wild mice (Peromyscus), published this month in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology along with her former colleagues from the University of Michigan (where she obtained her Master's degree). This work was a multiyear effort with two species (Peromyscus leucopus noveboracensis and Peromyscus maniculatus gracilis).
The study examined the existence of individual differences in four behaviors (presence of animal personality, as assessed by quantifying repeatabilities) and one measure of intrinsic state (body mass), the degree of association between these four behaviors (presence of behavioral syndromes), and the association of these behavioral traits with body mass that allowed researchers to estimate the within-individual component and the among-individual component.
The results show that the two species of wild mice exhibit personalities and that their personality traits are associated with one another, in that mice that were less docile were also more active, exploratory, and bold. The mice's personality traits were not linked with body mass, suggesting a lack of association between internal state and personality.
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