They also eat less than their fellow females with a lower life expectancy. Behavioral biologists from the University of Zurich reveal that there is a correlation between longevity and personality for female house mice, and a minimum amount of boldness is necessary for them to survive.
Female mice with greater life expectancy are less active and less explorative than their fellow females with lower life expectancy. UZH
Risky behavior can lead to premature death – in humans. Anna Lindholm and her doctoral student Yannick Auclair investigated whether this also applies to animals by studying the behavior of 82 house mice. They recorded boldness, activity level, exploration tendency and energy intake of female and male house mice with two different allelic variants on chromosome 17, thereby testing predictions of “life-history theory” on how individuals invest optimally in growth and reproduction. According to this theory, individuals with a greater life expectancy will express reactive personality traits and will be shy, less active and less explorative than individuals with a lower survival expectation.Is personality reflected in life expectancy?
In contrast to the predictions of the “life-history” theory, there are no extremely individuals among t haplotype female mice. The researchers suppose that selection does not favor mice that are too cautious. “In order for a mouse to find food and be able to reproduce, clearly a minimum level of boldness is required,” explains Auclair. “In such a situation, large variation will not develop.”Literature:
Nathalie Huber | Universität Zürich
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