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Researchers of the University of Turku, Finland, have studied a timber elephant population in Myanmar and discovered that Asian elephant personality manifests through three factors. The personality factors identified by the researchers are attentiveness, sociability and aggressiveness.
As is commonly known, people have different personalities, and the structure of human personality can be divided into five factors. Other species' behaviour also differs between individuals: Some are braver, more social, or more aggressive than others.
Kinds - Differences - Behaviour - Personality - Personality
"These kinds of consistent differences in behaviour are called personality. Personality studies on species other than humans have so far focused on primates, pets and zoo populations, or on species that have a relatively short lifespan. Personality studies on other long-lived species living in their natural habitats are rare," says lead author Martin Seltmann from the Department of Biology at the University of Turku.
During the study, the researchers also identified that male and female elephants do not differ in these three personality factors. "Attentiveness is related to how an elephant acts in and perceives its environment. Sociability describes how an elephant seeks closeness to other elephants and humans, and how popular they are as social partners. Aggressiveness shows how aggressively an elephant acts towards other elephants and how much it interferes in their social interaction," says Dr Seltmann.
Researchers - Personality - Timber - Elephants - Habitat
The researchers studied the personality of over 250 timber elephants living in their natural habitat in Myanmar. "The elephants work in the timber industry, pulling logs from one place to another. This is a very unique research environment and population, enabling us to study several hundreds of elephants," says Dr Seltmann.
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