A new study into the lives of prawns has discovered that the crustaceans have distinct personalities.
It turns out that some of them are recklessly adventurous while others have yet to come out of their shell.
According to researchers, a study examining the effects of character types found the more cautious crustaceans are the best hunters and most adept at keeping hold of any food they find for themselves.
On the contrary, the risk-takers often have their hoard stolen when they go exploring.
The research was carried out by scientists at the University of Exeter. They looked at the behaviour of prawns to cast light on the question of why people and animals have differing personalities, and now believe they evolved as different ways of gathering food.
Speaking about it, Dr Tom Houslay of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation, said that the rockpools where these prawns live change with each high tide and in different conditions, either of these strategies might pay off, which might explain why evolution has not led to a single personality type.
The prawns in the study were all from Gyllyngvase beach in Falmouth, and their feeding behaviour was tested using parcels of brine shrimp.
Prawns were split into groups of similarly sized individuals to compete for access to food.
The study is called ‘Who dares doesn’t always win: risk-averse rockpool prawns are better at controlling a limited resource’ and was published in the journal Animal Behaviour.