In the last issue of Animal Behaviour, Sophie von Merten, Rafał Zwolak and Leszek Rychlik (Department of Systematic Zoology) published a paper in which they verified the social niche specialization hypothesis predicting that more social species should have more pronounced personality differences. They tested this prediction using four species of shrews that differ in ecology and sociability: solitary Neomys fodiens, Sorex araneus and Sorex minutus versus more gregarious Neomys anomalus. Finding higher variation in agonistic behaviour and more pronounced personality differences in N. anomalus than in the other, less sociable species, supports the hypothesis.

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