séminaire du pôle évolution du vivant - vendredi 16 mars 2012

zebra_finchNoisy neighbours and the evolution of animal personality

Wiebke Schuett, Zoological Institute, Hamburg

vendredi 16 mars 2012 à 11 heures, amphi Monge

A major challenge in behavioural and evolutionary ecology is to understand the evolution and maintenance of consistent behavioural differences among individuals within the same population, often referred to as animal ‘personalities’. Here, I present evidence suggesting that sexual selection may act on such personality differences in zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata. In a series of experiments I show that (1) females choose males on the basis of their exploratory behaviour per se, while taking into account their own personality ; (2) I demonstrate that such non-random mate choice has fitness consequences. Furthermore, personality variation may arise if individuals follow different life-history strategies suggesting that individuals with different personalities should vary in their underlying life-history decisions. In order to make adaptive (life-history) decisions, individuals need to collect information. I present data from a study assessing whether wild social jackdaws, Corvus monedula, vary in their social information use (prospecting on conspecific nests), depending on their exploration type. Also, it is assessed if prospecting and exploratory behaviour are predictors of individual reproductive success.