London, Sept 5 (ANI): Just like humans, animals too have personalities - consistent behavioural patterns. But how did they evolve?
To determine, scientists at Max Wolf of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany, created simple simulated animals with personalities that were either consistently aggressive or meek, or flipped between the two.
They were pitted against each other in repeated contests designed to be representative of many seen in the real world - for instance when an individual is defending its territory, reports New Scientist.
All three animal types did equally well until Wolf introduced a new one that could learn about the behavioural patterns of others.
'Learners' and those with a consistent personality wiped out animals whose behaviour was not consistent.
These types together formed a more stable society because the learners could adjust their behaviour to that of the others, and so avoid costly conflict.
Sasha Dall of the University of Exeter, UK, says the study shows that sociality could be a strong factor in the evolution of personality differences.
The study appears in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. (ANI)