Acoustic signalling reflects personality in a social mammal

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    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.


    • Acoustic signalling reflects personality in a social mammal

      Rights statement: © 2016 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

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    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages9
    JournalRoyal Society Open Science
    Journal publication date29 Jun 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2016

    ID: 81868360