News Round-Up

Personality matters, even for squirrels


Humans acknowledge that personality goes a long way, at least for our species. But scientists have been more hesitant to ascribe personality — defined as consistent behavior over time — to other animals.

A study from the University of California, Davis, is the first to document personality in golden-mantled ground squirrels, which are common across the western U.S. and parts of Canada. The study, published in the journal Animal Behaviour, found the squirrels show personality for four main traits: boldness, aggressiveness, activity level and sociability.

While the golden-mantled ground squirrel is under no conservation threat, the findings suggest that understanding how an animal’s personality influences use of space is important for wildlife conservation. MORE

Header image: Golden-mantled ground squirrels do indeed have personality, a UC Davis study confirms. Credit: Jaclyn Aliperti, UC Davis)