Summary: Much like people, sharks of the same species have different personalities, a new study reports.
A new study indicates that sharks of the same species can have different personalities.
Certain Port Jackson sharks were bolder than others in tests of the propensity of individuals to emerge from cover and explore a novel, potentially dangerous habitat. Also, certain sharks were more stressed when held out of water.
Boldness and handling stress reactivity were both significantly repeatable in juvenile sharks, and there was a correlation between boldness and more active stress responses.
“This work shows that we cannot think of all sharks as the same. Each has its own preferences and behaviors, and it is likely that these differences influence how individuals interact with their habitat and other species,” said Evan Byrnes, lead-author of the Journal of Fish Biology study. “Understanding how individual sharks vary in behaviors such as foraging and habitat use may have large ecological implications and is important to managing these species.”
Source: Joanne Morrison – Wiley
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Original Research: Abstract for “Individual personality differences in Port Jackson sharks Heterodontus portusjacksoni” by E. E. Byrnes and C. Brown in Journal of Fish Biology. Published online May 26 2016 doi:10.1111/jfb.12993
[cbtabs][cbtab title=”MLA”]Wiley “Sharks Have Individual Personalities.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 27 May 2016.
<https://neurosciencenews.com/shark-personalities-4330/>.[/cbtab][cbtab title=”APA”]Wiley (2016, May 27). Sharks Have Individual Personalities. NeuroscienceNews. Retrieved May 27, 2016 from https://neurosciencenews.com/shark-personalities-4330/[/cbtab][cbtab title=”Chicago”]Wiley “Sharks Have Individual Personalities.” https://neurosciencenews.com/shark-personalities-4330/ (accessed May 27, 2016).[/cbtab][/cbtabs]
Individual personality differences in Port Jackson sharks Heterodontus portusjacksoni
This study examined interindividual personality differences between Port Jackson sharks Heterodontus portusjacksoni utilizing a standard boldness assay. Additionally, the correlation between differences in individual boldness and stress reactivity was examined, exploring indications of individual coping styles. Heterodontus portusjacksoni demonstrated highly repeatable individual differences in boldness and stress reactivity. Individual boldness scores were highly repeatable across four trials such that individuals that were the fastest to emerge in the first trial were also the fastest to emerge in subsequent trials. Additionally, individuals that were the most reactive to a handling stressor in the first trial were also the most reactive in a second trial. The strong link between boldness and stress response commonly found in teleosts was also evident in this study, providing evidence of proactive-reactive coping styles in H. portusjacksoni. These results demonstrate the presence of individual personality differences in sharks for the first time. Understanding how personality influences variation in elasmobranch behaviour such as prey choice, habitat use and activity levels is critical to better managing these top predators which play important ecological roles in marine ecosystems.
“Individual personality differences in Port Jackson sharks Heterodontus portusjacksoni” by E. E. Byrnes and C. Brown in Journal of Fish Biology. Published online May 26 2016 doi:10.1111/jfb.12993