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Conditional association between melanism and personality in Israeli barn owls
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Capsule Boldness defines the extent to which animals are willing to take risks in the presence of a predator. Late, but not early, in the breeding season, Israeli nestling Barn Owls displaying larger black feather spots were more docile, feigned death longer and had a lower breathing rate when handled than smaller-spotted nestlings. Larger-spotted breeding females were less docile if heavy but more more docile if light. The covariation between personality (boldness vs. timid) and melanin-based colouration is therefore conditional on environmental factors.
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