Flamingos form friendship groups based on their personalities, study shows Tech News

Birds with the same plumage group together, but within their flocks, flamingos form smaller cliques of like-minded individuals, a new study shows.

While previous research has shown that flamingos form friendship groups, the results of this new study, published Wednesday in the journal Scientific Reports, suggest that these friendships are determined in part by intrinsic characteristics of the individuals.

Researchers from the University of Exeter and the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) studied a group of 147 caribbean Flamingos and a flock of 115 flamingos housed individually Chilean Flamingos at WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Gloucestershire, March-July 2014.

Both groups were found to have individuals with different behavioral traits, which they seemed to use to choose which flamingos they were most willing to associate with.

“For example, bolder birds have stronger, more consistent bonds with other bolder birds, while submissive birds tend to spend time with other submissive flamingos,” said study co-author and animal behavior scientist Paul Dr Ross said he was a lecturer at WWT and the University of Exeter.

Among the Caribbean flocks, character It was found to have an effect on social roles, with flamingos displaying higher levels of aggressive, exploratory and submissive behaviour, having more friends in their clique and forming stronger bonds with those friends.

These flamingos also participated in more fights and were more willing to offer support when their friends were threatened, the researchers observed.

This may be due to outgoing and aggressive tendencies that make birds They were more likely to engage in a wider range of activities, such as exploration and combat, which would connect them to more people, the researchers said.

They added that if aggressive birds engage in confrontation more frequently than other birds, stronger network connections may help them gain social support from close partners.

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“This study is significant because it shows that, for flamingos in particular, their social lives are complex and the relationships they form within them are clearly important for bird health and group cohesion. Both of which affect reproduction potential and reproductive success,” Dr Ross told Sky News.

“For animals in captivity more generally, this study shows that it is important to study the social lives of more animal species in greater depth. Not only commonly studied species such as gorillas and monkeys, but all social animals in zoos .

“Clearly, the individual choices that animals make in social groups are important to them.”

Because the researchers found that flamingo relationships are long-lasting and that birds from the same origin—whether in captivity or caught in the wild—are more closely related to each other, they recommend that managers maintain Integrity of established relationships.

Are all flamingos like this?

Personality did not appear to affect social status and confrontational interactions among Chilean flamingos compared to Caribbean flamingos, and Chilean flamingos did not find age as a factor when picking friends – as Caribbean flamingos as birds do.

The study could not say why this was the case, but noted that Chilean flocks are much smaller than Caribbean flocks and that their breeding season occurs later in the summer, so these factors may affect the structure and behavior of the flock, making direct comparisons between the two flocks more challenging.

The researchers suggest that this study should be replicated with other groups to see if their findings apply to flamingos in general, not just the two groups of flamingos studied.

“It’s great to see this work being done in flocks of wild birds, but unfortunately it’s difficult to survey flamingos in the wild because they occur in such large flocks and their movements can be unpredictable. So it’s very difficult to track individual birds over time and see who they’re together,” Dr Ross added.

“It will also be very interesting to see others repeat this study with their own flocks of flamingos and compare the findings on the expressed personalities, and show whether all flamingos behave in the same way as our birds.”

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