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    Individuals frequently differ consistently from one another in their average behaviours (i.e. 'animal personality') and in correlated suites of consistent behavioural responses (i.e. 'behavioural syndromes'). However, understanding the evolutionary basis of this (co)variation has lagged behind demonstrations of its presence. This lag partially stems from comparative methods rarely being used in the field. Consequently, much of the research on animal personality has relied on 'adaptive stories' focused on single species and populations. Here, we used a comparative approach to examine the role of phylogeny in shaping patterns of average behaviours, behavioural variation and behavioural correlations. In comparing the behaviours and behavioural variation for five species of Gryllid crickets, we found that phylogeny shaped average behaviours and behavioural (co)variation. Despite differences among species, behavioural responses and variation were most similar among more closely related species. These results suggest that phylogenetic constraints play an important role in the expression of animal personalities and behavioural syndromes and emphasize the importance of examining evolutionary explanations within a comparative framework. © 2021 European Society for Evolutionary Biology.


    Jeremy Dalos, Raphaël Royauté, Ann V Hedrick, Ned A Dochtermann. Phylogenetic conservation of behavioural variation and behavioural syndromes. Journal of evolutionary biology. 2022 Feb;35(2):311-321

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    PMID: 34536964

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