WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!
- Flamingos with similar personalities tend to form cliques, according to a study by the University of Exeter and the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust.
- Flamingos have more complex social lives than previously thought, with individual character traits playing a role in friendships and group dynamics.
- The research could help improve the welfare of zoo flamingos and shed light on the evolution of social behavior in birds.
Flamingos are more than just pretty pink birds – they have complex personalities and social lives too! A study by the University of Exeter and the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust found that flamingos with similar personality traits tend to form cliques, much like humans.
Bolder birds stick together, while more submissive birds form another group. The researchers hope that this study will help us better understand the evolution of social behavior in birds and improve the welfare of zoo flamingos.
The study observed captive Chilean and Caribbean flamingos at WWT Slimbridge, and measured consistent individual differences such as a bird’s aggression or willingness to explore.
“Like humans, flamingos appear to carve out different roles in society based on their personality,” said Fionnuala McCully, a research student at Exeter.
The researchers found that individual character traits explain why particular friendships form, and that a flamingo’s social life is much more complicated than previously realized.
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