Individual Differences in Animal Behavior

Published on Jan 1, 1981
· DOI :10.1007/978-1-4615-7575-7_2
Peter J. B. Slater47
Estimated H-index: 47
(University of Sussex)
This article explores reasons for individual differences in animal behavior and points to various ways in which they deserve closer study. Differences in feeding, mating, or fighting behavior may occur because selection favors the adoption of different strategies by different individuals. Variations in signals may arise through selection for animals to be identifiable as individuals or for their relatedness to others to be assessed. The variability of behavior itself varies between different patterns in which it has been measured. Variation may arise because the exact form of the behavior being measured makes little difference from the point of view of selection. It is also suggested that variability in other cases may come about because, in an unpredictable environment, the best course of action cannot be forecast.
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