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Animal Personalities

Behavior, Physiology, and Evolution

Ask anyone who has owned a pet and they’ll assure you that, yes, animals have personalities. And science is beginning to agree. Researchers have demonstrated that both domesticated and nondomesticated animals—from invertebrates to monkeys and apes—behave in consistently different ways, meeting the criteria for what many define as personality. But why the differences, and how are personalities shaped by genes and environment? How did they evolve? The essays in Animal Personalities reveal that there is much to learn from our furred and feathered friends.
The study of animal personality is one of the fastest-growing areas of research in behavioral and evolutionary biology. Here Claudio Carere and Dario Maestripieri, along with a host of scholars from fields as diverse as ecology, genetics, endocrinology, neuroscience, and psychology, provide a comprehensive overview of the current research on animal personality. Grouped into thematic sections, chapters approach the topic with empirical and theoretical material and show that to fully understand why personality exists, we must consider the evolutionary processes that give rise to personality, the ecological correlates of personality differences, and the physiological mechanisms underlying personality variation.

520 pages | 12 halftones, 11 line drawings, 11 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2013

Biological Sciences: Behavioral Biology, Biochemistry, Evolutionary Biology


“In this timely volume, the first one synthesizing and integrating the research on animal personality, Claudio Carere and Dario Maestripieri, two recognized scholars of behavioral biology, provide a collection of essays diverse in biological approaches and levels of investigation as well as in species—from invertebrates to monkeys and apes, including humans. . . . There is currently no other compilation of papers providing such a broad and updated overview about a subject at the forefront of science. Various research perspectives and approaches . . . have been brought together striving to develop new avenues of research. They include applied areas with an overall holistic approach to the subject, which makes the volume particularly valuable for a wide audience, ranging from undergraduate students uncertain of their future choices, biologists of virtually all disciplines, medical researchers, veterinarians, and psychologists.”

Enrico Alleva, Istituto Superiore di Sanità | Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità

“Fascinating. . . . [and] valuable in promoting our understanding of the specific needs and motivation of different individuals, and consequently to improving their management.”

Ori Pomerantz, Tel Aviv University | Animal Welfare

“This synthesis of a blossoming area of research is valuable for all academic libraries. Highly recommended.”

B. E. Fleury, Tulane University | Choice

“The editors provide a cornucopia full of studies on animal personalities, diverse in biological approaches and levels of investigation as well as in species. Gone are the days, not so long ago, when the intrepid few planted the seeds of research on personalities in animals other than humans and did so despite suspicion of the enterprise.”

Jeanne Altmann, Princeton University

Table of Contents

Introduction: Animal Personalities: Who Cares and Why?
Claudio Carere, Dario Maestripieri

Part I: Behavioral Characterization of Personalities across Animal Taxa

Chapter 1. The Bold and the Spineless: Invertebrate Personalities
Jennifer A. Mather, David M. Logue
Chapter 2. Evolutionary Perspectives on Personality in Stickleback Fish
Alison M. Bell, Susan A. Foster, Matthew Wund
Chapter 3. Avian Personality
Kees van Oers, Marc Naguib
Chapter 4. Differential Behavioral Ecology: The Structure, Life History, and Evolution of Primate Personality
Alexander Weiss, Mark J. Adams
Chapter 5. Personalities in a Comparative Perspective: What Do Human Psychologists Glean from Animal Personality Studies?
Samuel D. Gosling, Pranjal H. Mehta

Part II. Genetics, Ecology, and Evolution of Animal Personalities

Chapter 6. The Quantitative and Molecular Genetics of Animal Personality
Kees van Oers, David. L. Sinn
Chapter 7. What Is the Evidence that Natural Selection Maintains Variation in Animal Personalities?
Niels J. Dingemanse, Denis Réale
Chapter 8. Frontiers on the Interface between Behavioral Syndromes and Social Behavioral Ecology
Andrew Sih
Chapter 9. The Evolution of Animal Personalities
Max Wolf, G. Sander van Doorn, Olof Leimar, Franz J. Weissing

Part III. Development of Personalities and Their Underlying Mechanisms

Chapter 10. Ontogeny of Stable Individual Differences: Gene, Environment, and Epigenetic Mechanisms
James P. Curley, Igor Branchi
Chapter 11. Parental Influences on Offspring Personality Traits in Oviparous and Placental Vertebrates
Dario Maestripieri, Ton G. G. Groothuis
Chapter 12. Neuroendocrine and Autonomic Correlates of Animal Personalities
Doretta Caramaschi, Claudio Carere, Andrea Sgoifo, Jaap M. Koolhaas

Part IV. Implications of Personality Research for Conservation Biology, Animal Welfare, and Human Health

Chapter 13. Animal Personality and Conservation Biology: The Importance of Behavioral Diversity
Brian R. Smith, Daniel T. Blumstein
Chapter 14. Personality Variation in Cultured Fish: Implications for Production and Welfare
Felicity Huntingford, Flavia Mesquita, Sunil Kadri
Chapter 15. Behavioral, Physiological, and Health Biases in Laboratory Rodents: A Basis for Understanding Mechanistic Links between Human Personality and Health
Sonia A. Cavigelli, Kerry C. Michael, Christina M. Ragan


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