Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

'Nervous' birds take more risks

29.10.2007
Scientists have shown that birds with higher stress levels adopt bolder behaviour than their normally more relaxed peers in stressful situations.

A University of Exeter research team studied zebra finches, which had been selectively bred to produce three distinct types – ‘laid-back’, ‘normal’ and ‘stressed’ – based on their levels of stress hormone. The group was surprised to find that the ‘stressed’ birds were bolder and took more risks in a new environment than the group that was usually more laid-back. Their findings are published today (26 October) in the journal Hormones and Behaviour.

Like other animals including humans, birds respond to stress, created by the appearance of a predator or a change in their environment for example, by producing a hormone. In birds, this hormone is called ‘corticosterone’ and some individuals have higher levels of the hormone than others. The zebra finches in this experiment were bred to have three different corticosterone levels, with the ‘laid-back’ birds having lower levels than the ‘stressed’ birds. The researchers put the birds into a new environment, which housed several unfamiliar objects, including new feeders. The ‘stressed’ birds were the first to visit the new feeders, which they also returned to more quickly than the other birds after being startled. Overall, they approached more objects than their normally more relaxed peers, showing greater risk-taking behaviour and arguably handling the situation better.

Dr Thais Martins of the University of Exeter said: “It initially seems counter-intuitive that birds with higher levels of the stress hormone showed bolder behaviour, normally associated with confidence. However, corticosterone is released to help tackle stress by encouraging the animal to adopt key survival behaviours like seeking food. So on reflection, perhaps it is not surprising that these birds are more likely to explore the environment and look for food.”

... more about:
»Environment »behaviour »hormone »levels

Previous research has indicated that animals show consistent individual differences in their behaviour when faced with certain challenges. Traditionally in this field of research, birds have been separated into two groups: ‘bold’ and ‘shy’, or ‘active’ and ‘passive’. These definitions are based on observations of their behavioural strategies, and the birds are then studied for physiological differences. This research took the opposite approach and separated the birds into groups by physiology, based on corticosterone production levels, and then looked for behavioural differences.

Sarah Hoyle | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.exeter.ac.uk

Further reports about: Environment behaviour hormone levels

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Complementing conventional antibiotics
24.05.2018 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>