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Scholarly Article 
  • Paul Sims
Paul Sims
McGill University
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Abstract

Abstract
Individuals often face unpredictable environments presenting  novel ecological problems which are expected to vary among populations. This  may shape exploratory and learning propensities, among other traits, thus we  hypothesize that these propensities may vary among populations. We addressed  this hypothesis by comparing the maze swimming performance of female guppies  from two populations in Trinidad, the Upper and Lower Aripo river (UA, LA). LA  fish were slower to complete the maze than UA fish. More active fish with higher  shoaling propensities were faster to complete the maze, but only in LA, not UA.  Larger fish were faster to swim the maze but we found no evidence for learning.  Our results suggest that exploratory and innovative propensities can vary  between populations. However, further population comparisons would be required  to determine the factors driving these differences. We also found that behavioral  phenotypes predicted exploratory rates, but inconsistently between populations,  suggesting that other moderating factors may be involved. Our results emphasize  that individual and population differences in exploration and innovation can be  shaped by numerous factors.