A new study led by Dr Kathryn Arnold, of the Environment Department at the University of York has added important experimental evidence showing that animal personalities are reflected in their oxidative stress profiles. The research is published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.
Dr Arnold teamed up with graduate student Katherine Herborn, at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow, to classify the personalities of 22 greenfinches.
They tested each bird's reactions to a novel situation by adding a brightly coloured cookie-cutter to each greenfinch's food bowl, and timing how long it took for the birds to pluck up courage to approach the food. The researchers found that the boldest birds took only a few seconds to overcome their fear while more timid birds took up to 30 minutes to approach their meal.
Dr Arnold and Katherine Herborn also measured the greenfinches' motivation to explore by attaching an intriguing object to the birds' perches and timing how long it took them to land next to it. However, there was no correlation between the birds' courage and curiosity.
The researchers then measured the birds' damaging reactive oxygen metabolite levels and their defences against them. Comparing the bird's blood oxidative profiles with their personalities, the team found that the most timid birds had the highest levels of damaging oxygen toxins and the weakest defences, so they suffered more oxidative stress than braver individuals. Also, the scientists found that the most curious birds (those that approached objects fastest) had better defences against oxidative damage than less curious greenfinches.
Dr Arnold wants to extend the work to establish how personality traits affects birds in the wild. She says, "Neophobic birds – those that are afraid of new things -- may suffer high costs of oxidative stress and die early because they paid these physiological costs, but they might also be less likely to be eaten by a predator because they are more wary than bolder birds ."
The research also involved scientists at The Edward Grey Institute, Department of Zoology at Oxford and the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition at Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. The research was part-funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Royal Society.
David Garner | EurekAlert!
Newly discovered bacteria-binding protein in the intestine
08.12.2016 | University of Gothenburg
The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
08.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
08.12.2016 | Life Sciences