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.

Related Articles


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 April 21, 2015 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 April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2015) Five years on, the possible environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill includes a sustained die-off of bottlenose dolphins, among others. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico started the biggest oil spill in US history. BP recently reported the Gulf is recovering well, but scientists paint a different picture. Duration: 02:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) Thai customs seize four tonnes of African elephant ivory worth $6 million at a Bangkok port in a container labelled as beans. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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