The temperament of hamsters

13 February 2015
 

When you watch the video above, you can observe a very anxious hamster.

What do we mean by temperament?

In the animal world, different individuals have different types of behaviour. When this different is constant over time and according to the same contexts, this is known as “temperament” or “personality.” Differences in temperament have already been studied for human beings as well as for many different kinds of wild animals, such as squirrels, mice or quail.

What does the study of temperament teach us?

Their temperament can influence the way in which animals interact with their environment: how they react when facing a predator, the way in which they look for food or a partner for reproduction. Consequently, temperament can directly influence the survival and breeding success of animals in a natural environment.

Testing the temperament of captive animals which will later be released to grow wild populations will allow the CNRS to pinpoint the existing correlations between temperament and the survival rate of the European Hamster in the wild.

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