Družabnejše veverice imajo večjo verjetnost preživetja in razmnoževanja. Vir: Wikimedia Commons
Družabnejše veverice imajo večjo verjetnost preživetja in razmnoževanja. Vir: Wikimedia Commonss

Some squirrels are braver than others

You may know that our personality traits, such as sociability, liveliness, or courage, influence the choice of profession, friends, and hobbies.

Interestingly, animals also have a personality.

Her research has only begun to develop recently, as it is very demanding. In addition, scientists tend to monitor animals as a community and rarely focus on individual specimens.

Different organisms have a personality: fish, birds, rodents, spiders, lizards. More and more research shows that most animals probably have one, even though we thought it was just a characteristic of humans.

Je vsejeda žival, saj se prehranjuje z rastlinami, glivami, žuželkami in celo z majhnimi pticami. Vir: Flickr
It is an omnivorous animal as it feeds on plants, fungi, insects and even small birds. Source: Flickr

A study was recently published where scientists monitored the behaviour of squirrels living in Colorado, USA for three years.

In doing so, they studied four traits: courage, aggression, liveliness, and sociability.

The squirrels were placed in a box with holes and monitored for their behaviour in the new environment. They also did a test with a mirror to find out how the squirrel responds to its reflection.

They tested courage by approaching one in nature and watching when it would escape. They also observed the behaviour in a trap – they caught one for a short time, observed it and then released it.

Trenutno ne velja za ogroženo vrsto. Vir: Flickr
It is not currently considered an endangered species. Source: Flickr

Tests have shown that braver squirrels move over larger territories and faster. Thus, they found that courage and activity are related.

Moreover, more social squirrels are said to be more likely to survive and reproduce, although the squirrels studied have in principle been considered a less social species.

»Consideration of personality can be especially important in protecting species, as it can help us predict the response of animals to new living conditions, such as habitat change or destruction,« says Dr. Jaclyn Aliperti, Head of Research.

Points To Consider

  1. Is personality important in making friends?
  2. Do you know any other animal with a personality?
  3. To which group of animals do we classify squirrels?


The original version of this article was published on November 22nd.

English translation courtesy of JL FlannerTotal Slovenia News, an English language website with news from and about Slovenia.


Adamič je študentka biotehnologije, rada potuje po svetu in približuje znanost najmlajšim.

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