Animal Personalities Range From Outgoing to Timid, Bird Study Proves

04/28/2011

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Some people can handle life’s little stresses better than others, and it’s no different for animals, according to a new study. Researchers classified the personalities of 22 goldfinches and found that outgoing birds handled new situations better than timid ones.

Read more at ScienceDaily.

 

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Researchers found that personality is linked to how well animals handle stress. They placed a brightly colored cookie cutter in the food bowls of each bird and timed how long it would take each to eat from the bowl. It took bolder birds only a few seconds and more timid birds up to 30 minutes.

The most timid birds also showed higher levels of damaging oxygen toxins and weaker defenses as a result of the new stress-inducing situation.

 

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"Neophobic birds -- those that are afraid of new things -- may suffer high costs of oxidative stress and die early because they paid these physiological costs, but they might also be less likely to be eaten by a predator because they are more wary than bolder birds," explained Dr. Kathryn Arnold, of the environment department at the University of York in the U.K., who led the study.

MORE PHOTOS: Amazing Animal Pictures

Photo Credits: Visuals Unlimited/Corbis | Tim Zurowski/All Canada Photos/Corbis | Glenn Bartley/All Canada Photos/Corbis |


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