When predicting the outcome of a fight, the big guy doesn’t always win, suggests new research on fish.
Scientists at the University of Exeter and Texas A&M University found that when fish fight over food, it is personality, rather than size, that determines whether they will be victorious.
The findings suggest that when resources are in short supply personality traits such as aggression could be more important than strength when it comes to survival. The study, published in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, found that small fish were able to do well in contests for food against larger fish provided they were aggressive. Regardless of their initial size, it was the fish that tended to have consistently aggressive behaviour - or personalities - that repeatedly won food and as a result put on weight.