Acoustic signalling reflects personality in a social mammal

Mary Friel, Hansjoerg P. Kunc, Kym Griffin, Lucy Asher, Lisa M. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
220 Downloads (Pure)


Social interactions among individuals are often mediated through acoustic signals. If acoustic signals are consistent and related to an individual's personality, these consistent individual differences in signalling may be an important driver in social interactions. However, few studies in non-human mammals have investigated the relationship between acoustic signalling and personality. Here we show that acoustic signalling rate is repeatable and strongly related to personality in a highly social mammal, the domestic pig (Sus scrofa domestica). Furthermore, acoustic signalling varied between environments of differing quality, with males from a poor-quality environment having a reduced vocalization rate compared with females and males from an enriched environment. Such differences may be mediated by personality with pigs from a poor-quality environment having more reactive and more extreme personality scores compared with pigs from an enriched environment. Our results add to the evidence that acoustic signalling reflects personality in a non-human mammal. Signals reflecting personalities may have far reaching consequences in shaping the evolution of social behaviours as acoustic communication forms an integral part of animal societies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2016


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