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Gathering information about food is not top priority for individuals with high metabolisms
Date:10/1/2013

lower metabolic rates however value information enough to use it extensively."

Dr Kimberley Mathot from the Max Plank Institute for Ornithology said: "This study suggests that it is not worthwhile for individuals with high metabolic rates, and so high energy requirements, to make the costly errors that would be inevitable if they were to try to learn about the best foraging options. Individuals with low metabolic rates, and lower overall energy requirements, have less to lose and so can explore multiple options that may result in them finding productive sources of food."

The research suggests that individuals with low or moderate metabolic rates, who regularly gather information on acquiring energy reserves, may be in a better position to exploit the best foraging opportunities when they arise compared to those individuals with high metabolic rates who have not invested in information. This makes individuals with low metabolic rates better at dealing with food shortages.

The study highlights how differences in energy use by the body can strongly influence individual behavioural tendencies and decision making. Future work will investigate whether variation in metabolic rates can be used to predict behavioural differences in other contexts.


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Contact: Jo Bowler
j.bowler@exeter.ac.uk
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert

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