Competition favors shy tits

Different personalities are maintained in the wild mainly because of changes in density. This is what researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen and colleagues of the University Groningen found out for great tits. During four years, they observed that slow explorers are more likely to survive if intraspecific competition increases due to an increase of density in a population. But although individuals are able to anticipate future breeding densities, they are amazingly bad in adjusting their exploratory behavior and therefore their chance to survive: Instead of slowing down, birds increased their speed of exploration when facing increases in density between years. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)