Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Females choose mates for their personalities, zebra finch study shows

Date:
August 30, 2011
Source:
University of Exeter
Summary:
Adventurous females choose mates with similar personalities, regardless of the male's appearance and other assets, according to new research in birds. This is the first study to show that the non-sexual behavior or personalities of both mates influences partner choice in non-humans. The study focused on a population of more than 150 zebra finches.

This is a zebra finch.
Credit: Wiebke Schuett

Adventurous females choose mates with similar personalities, regardless of the male's appearance and other assets, according to new bird research led by the University of Exeter. This is the first study to show that the non-sexual behaviour or personalities of both mates influences partner choice in non-humans.

The study focused on a population of more than 150 zebra finches. The research team assessed male and female birds separately for personality traits through a series of behavioural tests. In particular, they measured levels of exploratory behaviour through, for example, assessing birds' willingness to explore new environments and reactions to new objects. Each female then watched a pair of brothers exploring strange cages, one of which was made to look less exploratory than the other by restraining it in an invisible box. They then put the females together with the brothers they had seen and observed which male they spent the most time with.

The results showed that more exploratory females are more likely to favour the most apparently outgoing and confident males. This was regardless of the bird's body size and condition or beak colour. Less exploratory females on the other hand, did not show a preference for either male.

Team leader, Dr Sasha Dall of the University of Exeter said: "This is strong evidence that females care about the apparent personality of their male independently of his appearance. We have the first evidence that it is important for partners to have compatible personalities in the mating game. This is something we would probably all agree is the case for humans but which has been overlooked for other species."

Previous studies have shown that there is a link between a pair's personalities and their reproductive success in a range of species. Lead author, Dr Wiebke Schuett of the Royal Veterinary College said: "Exploratory females seem to have the most to gain by choosing exploratory mates. We have shown previously that pairs of zebra finches that are both exploratory raise offspring in better condition than those that are mismatched or unexploratory. Similar patterns have been seen in other birds and fish. However, this is the first evidence that the personality of both partners plays a role in mate choice."

This research was conducted by a team from the University of Exeter, Carleton University, Canada and Royal Veterinary College, University of London and is published in the journal Ethology. Funding was provided by the European Social Fund (studentship to Wiebke Schuett).


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Wiebke Schuett, Jean-Guy J. Godin, Sasha R. X. Dall. Do Female Zebra Finches, Taeniopygia guttata, Choose Their Mates Based on Their 'Personality'? Ethology, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0310.2011.01945.x

Cite This Page:

University of Exeter. "Females choose mates for their personalities, zebra finch study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824192339.htm>.
University of Exeter. (2011, August 30). Females choose mates for their personalities, zebra finch study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824192339.htm
University of Exeter. "Females choose mates for their personalities, zebra finch study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824192339.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — South Koreans eat more instant ramen noodles per capita than anywhere else in the world. But American researchers say eating too much may increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
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