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Dhamma Wheel • View topic - Sheep shed light on personality

Sheep shed light on personality

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Sheep shed light on personality

Postby Individual » Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:44 pm

Studies involving sheep suggest one possible evolutionary basis for the origin of personalities among animals:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 154901.htm

In a system like that of bighorn sheep where there is strong competition among the males for impregnating females, large size and high dominance status are normally key factors in a male's success. Males usually attain these conditions in the prime of life (between 6 and 12 years). However, the paternity tests showed that some young males manage to fertilize females.

Given the risk associated with participation in the rut (males can be injured or fall from a cliff in fighting), Denis Reale and his colleagues hypothesized that the young males that manage to reproduce would be the boldest and most combative. Analysis of the data confirmed this hypothesis. However, in exchange for sexual precocity and risk-taking, these rams often die younger than their more docile peers! The latter, instead, invest in the long term, breed later and reach an older age.

The research thus indicates a variation in the personalities and life histories of the population, with two extreme types: one that could be characterised as "live fast and die" and the other as "slow and steady wins the race." Depending on their personality, the males managed to breed and to transmit their genes, but in different ways. This study demonstrates that personality has a direct influence on the lifestyle of individuals.

Thought you might find this interesting.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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