Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bighorn Sheep: Is 'Personality Type' Linked To Longevity, Offspring?

Date:
September 3, 2009
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
A Canadian researcher wrestles with bighorn mountain sheep to gauge their personalities. He is part of a team that traps the animals in a plywood enclosure on a mountaintop in the Rockies. The research team are trying to figure out if personality type has anything to do with how long a mountain sheep lives or how many offspring it produces.

Mature bighorn sheep male.
Credit: iStockphoto/Joseph Gareri

University of Alberta researcher David Coltman wrestles with bighorn mountain sheep to gauge their personalities.

Coltman, a U of A biology professor, is part of a team that traps the animals in a plywood enclosure on a mountaintop in the Rockies. He and the research team are trying to figure out if personality type has anything to do with how long a mountain sheep lives or how many offspring it produces.

The extreme ends of the personality measurement are bold and submissive. For example, with the younger male mountain sheep, a typical bold personality will try and steal away a ewe from the older dominant ram. Coltman equates that to a "live fast, die young" mentality seen regularly in the human world.

The animal is given a grade for personality based on how big a fight it puts up when researchers try and get its weight and measurements and Coltman says carrying out a personality profile can be dangerous. The average ram weighs 125 kilograms, but while some captured rams and even ewes put up a fight, Coltman says others are complete pussycats. "With some ewes you just put your hand on their head," said Coltman. "They just sit back on their bums and you can measure and weigh them; it's that easy."

But with others, the research doesn't come that easy. "We were filled with dread when one ram we nicknamed 'Psycho' turned up in a trap," said Coltman. "Year in and year out Psycho's reaction was the same. He tried to kill us."

The Ram Mountain trap-and-release study was originally organized close to 40 years ago to monitor the growth, health and population of bighorn sheep. Coltman is co-author of a recent paper on animal personality published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "Bighorn Sheep: Is 'Personality Type' Linked To Longevity, Offspring?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090901143315.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2009, September 3). Bighorn Sheep: Is 'Personality Type' Linked To Longevity, Offspring?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090901143315.htm
University of Alberta. "Bighorn Sheep: Is 'Personality Type' Linked To Longevity, Offspring?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090901143315.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins