So, what's wrong with the study they're doing? There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamed of in your philosophy. And these guys are exploring one of those things.
Hey, my dog made me write that. I gotta hide his stash.
I find it a bit interesting that there seems to be a flurry of media reports on animal personality in recent weeks (maybe I'm just encountering a disproportionate share). I always figured it was more or less a given that at least 'higher order' animals had personality types and emotional states. To be sure, I haven't the slightest objection to such research - to the contrary I think it's quite important - but I wonder if the slightly raised media profile may be a corrolary of the animal rights movement.
Speaking of which, I think the animal rights movement has admirable principles in the abstract, but frequently seems inane in practice. I think part of the problem is that personality and emotion is so loaded with connotation to our perception that it can be easy to 'anthropomorphize' other creatures. The rudimentary forms exhibited by most (primates and cetaceans being notable exceptions) are in my view such a difference in degree as to be different in kind. Ultimately, it's a man eat cow world out there!
PS. Are the "pink" flamingos the most flamboyant?