The Animal Self – New York Times

Fascinating NYTimes article on how anthropomorphism is losing its pejorative stamp; animal behaviourism is now being looked in some labs at as the study of animal personalities, with unintentionally hilarious observations:

“You don’t think of drosophila in that way,” Stamps told me. “They can be very territorial, and some of the males are fairly aggressive. They tussle with each other. When we did our free-range fly experiments, we marked them individually. We put little colored paint dots on their thorax. The students loved it. They’d say: ‘You know Blue? He’s been attacking everyone this morning. He’s on Banana A, and everyone else is on Banana B. He’s the ruler of Banana A.’ Of course, the other thing we’ve noticed is that individuals that behave like Blue get into trouble because, you see, they end up with nobody to mate with.”

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