Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bold crickets have a shorter life

23.04.2015

An individual’s behaviour in risky situations is a distinct personality trait that can have an immediate impact on longevity. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen have now found differences in personality types for the first time in free living field crickets. Risk-prone individuals showed a higher mortality as they stayed more often outside their burrow where they can be easily detected by predators. Moreover, shy individuals are not encountered so often by researchers, causing potential bias in collected scientific data. This methodological problem has been neglected in many personality studies but has been accounted for uniquely in the present study.

Animals, like humans, have distinct personalities that are partly defined by genes and partly shaped by the environment. Personality as a phenomenon means that some individuals are consistently more shy, bold, cautious or aggressive compared to others.


A cricket in front of its burrow. For identification, the researchers marked it with a painted spot on its back.

Petri T. Niemelä

During the last decade, different individual personality patterns have been detected in more than 100 animal species and found to be related to important life history traits such as reproductive success and survival.

Studying personality in the wild is important since it ensures that the behavioural expression as well as ecological data (such as longevity) are collected in a natural environment and thus not affected by artificial experimental setups used in the laboratory. Most studies of the relationships between personality and survival have been conducted on established vertebrate models such as mammals and songbirds and there are few studies, if any, on invertebrates in wild populations.

Scientists, led by Niels Dingemanse, from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen and the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich have investigated the personality and survivorship in wild field crickets. Within a 120 m² fenced-off meadow, cricket nymphs were individually marked and monitored until they reached adulthood in order to study their individual behaviour and survival.

For example, flight initiation distance, i.e. distance when crickets initiate the escape of an approaching thread, was determined by tapping a round wooden pole on the ground towards the cricket’s burrow mimicking natural ground predators that prey on this insect.

Together with the measurement of the maximum distance that crickets moved away from their burrows these behaviours were used to define whether crickets express personalities. As predicted, bold behaviours varied consistently between individuals, verifying the presence of personality.

Bold field crickets suffered from higher mortality compared to less bold ones probably because they are preyed upon by natural predators such as shrews and birds more often compared to shy individuals. Furthermore, bold individuals were more easily detected by the observer which likely represents the mechanism for their higher mortality: predators can detect bold individuals more easily.

To verify that observers did not simply miss the shy individuals, the researchers fenced the burrows and repeated the measurements. “These differences in the encounter rates between bold and shy individuals should be considered in future studies investigating relationships between personality and fitness in natural populations”, says Petri Niemelä, first author of the study. (SL/HR)

Weitere Informationen:

http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/04/15/beheco.arv036.full
http://www.mpg.de/9192793/personality-related-survival-crickets

Dr. Sabine Spehn | Max-Planck-Institut für Ornithologie

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
27.03.2017 | Lancaster University

nachricht Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>