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Animal Personalities: Behavior, Physiology, and Evolution

By: Claudio Carere(Editor), Dario Maestripieri(Editor)

507 pages, 12 b/w photos, 11 b/w illustrations, 11 tables

University of Chicago Press

Paperback | May 2013 | #202972 | ISBN-13: 9780226921976
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Hardback | Apr 2013 | #202971 | ISBN-13: 9780226922058
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About this book

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 non domesticated 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: Behavior, Physiology, and Evolution 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.

"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


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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Claudio Carere is adjunct professor of animal behavior and animal physiology in the Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences, Tuscia University, Italy. Dario Maestripieri is professor of comparative human development, evolutionary biology, and neurobiology at the University of Chicago.

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