Paired and unpaired penguins – a pilot study on personality

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan congresC3: Congres - Meeting abstractpeer review

Personality research is becoming more influential from a zoo husbandry perspective, since animals with behavioural profiles may respond differently to captive environments. In this case, boldness was assessed in 39 Humboldt Penguins, housed at Zoo Planckendael (Belgium) using three novel object tasks consisted of the keeper holding a blue leather ball, a black bucket and a large cardboard box. To our surprise, and in contrast with previous studies on penguin personality, none of the Humboldt penguins at Planckendael dared to come within 1 meter to the keeper holding these objects and they showed no interactions with the objects. Females spent more time in the water during the novel object test, while males were more often at 1 meter distance from the keeper. We tested if penguins who were more present at the novel object task, showed more inquisitive responses to keepers hand-feeding fish. Males and females did not differ in the distance of the penguins to the keeper, or in any behaviour towards the keeper (touching or pecking keeper, or touching feeding bucket). In general, penguins that were more bold in the novel object task, did not show more inquisitive behaviour at keeper feeding. However, when we separated analyses for 28 paired and 11 unpaired penguins, we found that boldness in the novel object task predicted behaviour of the unpaired, but not the paired penguins. Unpaired penguins that were more present during novel object task, were seen at closer distance to the keeper, and more often touched the keeper, the bucket, and in more likely to bite the keeper. Probably the results of the paired penguins were less reliable during this study, since they spent a lot of time on their nests. Thus nesting behaviour should be taken into account in future studies looking at penguin personality.
Originele taal-2Engels
StatusGepubliceerd - 2022
EventBIAZA Research Conference - ZSL, London, Verenigd Koninkrijk
Duur: 5-jul.-20226-jul.-2022


CongresBIAZA Research Conference
!!Country/TerritoryVerenigd Koninkrijk
Inloggen in Pure