How do you determine a cockroach’s character? Just look at how it behaves when it’s released into an open area. Some cockroaches will quickly head for shelter; others will focus on “exploring the surroundings” and will “spend less time sheltered,” lead author Isaac Planas Sitjà tells the Guardian.
The researchers reached their findings by attaching small radio ID chips to hundreds of cockroaches and tracking their movements in a controlled environment, Science reports. Though they varied in their approach to finding shelter, they eventually all ended up in the same place. That shows that “there is a collective dynamic — a social influence — that dilutes the individual personality differences,” Planas Sitjà tells Science.