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Consistency and heritability of personality in red junglefowl (Gallus gallus): Applying scientific research methods when teaching biology
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Observations of consistency in behavioural responses in animals suggest that animals have personality, a term previously mainly used when describing humans. The expression of differences in personality, similar to expression of variation in behaviour, is in principle dependent on genetic background, environmental factors and experiences. Therefore, by estimating heritability one can determine to which extent the genes affect the phenotypic expression of behaviour. This has rarely been done for variation in animal personality. The aim of the present study was therefore to estimate the consistency and heritability of personality traits in red junglefowl chicks (Gallus gallus). Consistency of behaviours within individuals (n=100) was determined from their responses to repeated novel arena tests, novel object tests and tonic immobility tests. A comparison between the offspring and the parent generation, both with known personalities, through a linear regression enabled me to estimate heritability of behavioural responses in these birds. The results showed a consistency in exploratory, boldness, risk-taking behaviour, and fearfulness in red junglefowl. Additionally, heritability estimates for exploratory, risk-taking and foraging behaviours were found. Taken together, this shows that in the red junglefowl, similar to in other species, personality have both a heritable and an environmental component. An important aim in biology education is the scientific approach, where hypothesis, experimentation, processing results and discussing the results are in focus. Learning and gaining knowledge through the process is a key factor, and will hopefully increase the interest in science among Swedish pupils. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 26 p.
Keyword [en]
Boldness, Chicken, Exploration, Fearfulness, Scientific approach and education, Risk-taking
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology Learning
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-94246ISRN: LITH-IFM-G-EX—13/2795—SEOAI: diva2:630807
Subject / course
Biology, Teacher Education
Educational program
Teacher Education
2013-06-05, Myrstacken, Linköpings universitet 581 83, Linköping, 16:14 (Swedish)
Available from: 2013-06-20 Created: 2013-06-19 Last updated: 2014-11-28Bibliographically approved

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Josefin Kvarnström(838 kB)233 downloads
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