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Selected Publication:

Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2012

Authors: Martins, CIM; Schaedelin, FC; Mann, M; Blum, C; Mandl, I; Urban, D; Grill, J; Schößwender, J; Wagner, RH

Title: Exploring novelty: a component trait of behavioural syndromes in a colonial fish.

Source: Behaviour. 2012; 149(2):215-231



Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Lemmel-Schädelin Franziska
Wagner Richard

Vetmed Research Units
Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology


Project(s): Mechanisms of breeding aggregations in fishes


Abstract:
Individual differences in exploratory behaviour have been shown to be consistent across contexts and suggested to be part of behavioural syndromes in a diversity of species, including fish. Exploration has also been shown to be a key factor in understanding complex ecological processes such as sexual selection and cooperation. Another important question in ecology is why animals breed in colonies. Exploration syndromes, by affecting prospecting behaviour, dispersal and public information use may also contribute to our understanding of coloniality. This study aims at investigating whether an exploration syndrome exists in a colonial fish species, Neolamprologus caudopunctatus . Individuals of this species were subjected to two consecutive tests, a novel environment and a novel object test. Results show that more explorative individuals in a novel environment are also less neophobic in the presence of a novel object, suggesting that the tendency to engage with novelty per se is a consistent trait and part of an exploration syndrome. These results are discussed in light of the contribution of an exploration syndrome to explain colony formation in animals.


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