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article imageLike breeds with like in animal study

By Tim Sandle     Apr 18, 2015 in Science
Paris - As indication in a new laboratory study, mice pairs with similar anxiety levels produce offspring more quickly than coupled animals with differing personalities.
With the research, mound-building mice (Mus spicilegus) were shown to mate more quickly with a partner that is equally anxious than if paired with a more- or less-apprehensive mouse.
Scientists based at the University of Paris used two tests to measure the personality of laboratory-bred descendants of wild mice caught in Hungary. First they measured how adventurous the mice were by recording their behavior in a walled arena with open space in the middle. It was found that braver mice spent more time exploring the center of the arena.
With the second test, called an elevated plus maze, the researchers attempted to quantify anxiety by comparing how much time an animal spent on the two walled arms and on the two non-enclosed arms of a plus-shaped maze raised two feet off the floor. The animals were consistent in their behavior in the two tests over time, suggesting that their adventurousness and anxiety could be considered personality traits.
Next, the researchers randomly paired the monogamous rodents in two groups. They found that they could best explain the difference between pairs that bred within the first 90 days of pairing and those that did not by how similarly each member of the pair behaved on the anxiety test. The inference, for mice at least, is that personality matching and reproductive parameters, to a degree, matters.
The research has been published in the journal Animal Behaviour, in a paper titled "Similarity of personalities speeds up reproduction in pairs of a monogamous rodent."
More about Breeding, charcter, Characteristics, Mice, animal experiments
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