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Male fish 'are bolder'.

WELSH scientists have found big differences in behaviour between male and female fish in an experiment to test risk taking in animals.

The research, led by Swansea University biosciences expert Dr Andrew King, found male stickleback fish were far more likely to "boldly go" on missions to find food and were more willing to take risks than females.

The new research, published in the scientific journal PloS (Public Library of Science) ONE, set out to understand how personalities differed across the 48 sticklebacks tested, and whether males and females showed any differences.

The work is part of wider research to find out more ways that individuals within a group, such as a shoal of fish or a flock of birds, may differ from each other. In other experiments male guppies and great tits have been found to be generally bolder than females and risky male behaviours have been shown to achieve male mating success in the fiddler crab.

Dr King said the stickleback experiment, in which the fish were moved from one tank to a new one in which food was secreted behind a tile at one end of the tank with a shelter at the other, came up with results that were predicted.

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A three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) adult male, just beginning to develop breeding colouration >with faint flush of pink under chin at Wat Tyler Country Park in Essex FLPA/REX
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 7, 2014
Words:235
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