From the team at BBC Wildlife Magazine

Can other animals be conscientious?

Can other animals can be conscientious?

Published: December 22, 2017 at 9:53 am
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Yes, according to a study by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley.


The researchers examined some 4,000 behavioural studies covering an enormous variety of species, looking for evidence of attributes such as self-discipline, neatness and tenacity.

They discovered that many species demonstrate some form of conscientiousness – and those that do reap rewards when it comes to hunting, feeding, defence and mating.

For instance, male sticklebacks that build neater, more compact nests show increased reproductive success, orb weaving spiders that construct their webs with greater precision snare more prey, and honeybees that clean their hives of carcasses raise a greater number of offspring.

The scientists divided the concept of conscientousness into two main categories – ‘order and industriousness’ and ‘achievement striving and competence’.


Birds and insects generally fell into the former; mammals into the latter.


Sarah McPhersonFeatures editor, BBC Wildlife Magazine

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