As pet owners, we all know that each and every one of our pets has a distinct and special personality (whether they’re feisty, happy-go-lucky, or grumpy, we love them all). In the past few years, the personalities of animals have been a hot topic for scientists. At least 60 different species have been found to have distinctive personalities and:
What’s particularly puzzling to biologists is similar traits, like aggression or shyness, are found in very dissimilar species, like fish and birds, but not in every member of the species, and those traits persist over a wide range of circumstances and over a long period of time. That is the very definition of personalityâ€” consistent behavior over time and in different situations.
Biologists are also trying to figure out why animals would have a personality because a strong personality can be a liability when flexibility especially in the wild would be more useful. Research in Santa Fe has shown that animals that reproduce as soon as possible are more aggressive and reckless. Animals that take more time and survey their environment first are more cautious, but they are more successful at breeding and raising their young.
Other studies are showing that personality traits are being handed down from one generation to another. Don’t be surprised if your pet starts picking up your personality traits.