Play in Rats: Association across Contexts and Types, and Analysis of Structure

Play has been proposed as a promising indicator of positive animal welfare. We aimed to study play in rats across contexts (conspecific/heterospecific) and types (social: pinning, being pinned; solitary: scampering), and we investigated its structure using behavioral sequence analysis. Group-housed (three per cage) adolescent male Lister Hooded rats (n = 21) were subjected to a […]

Social behaviors modulate bottlenose dolphins’ (Tursiops truncatus) breathing rate

Breathing frequency is a non-invasive physiological measure that brings valuable information on the bottlenose dolphins’ internal state and behaviors. When combined with behavioral observations, it helps to better understand and interpret relevant behaviors. The present study aimed to investigate some basic characteristics of breathing rate in nine dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) (e.g., age and sex effects) […]

The roles of phylogeny and sociality in the evolution of social play in muroid rodents

A composite index incorporating the frequency and structure (target, type of defence, etc.) of play fighting was used to compare the complexity of such play in 13 species of muroid rodents whose behaviour has been previously described. A phylogenetic comparison of the distribution of the complexity of play fighting revealed that relatedness did not predict […]

Sharing the motivation to play: the use of signals in adult bonobos

Gestures and facial displays are involved in regulating many aspects of mammal social life such as aggression, dominance-subordinate relationships, appeasement and play. Playful activity is an interesting behaviour for examining the role of signals as intentional communication systems. When animals play they perform patterns that are used in other serious contexts. To avoid miscommunication, many […]

To Whom the Play Signal Is Directed: A Study of Headshaking in Black-Handed Spider Monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi)

Spider monkeys shake their heads so as to facilitate amicable social contact. This occurs frequently during vigorous play fighting, and so is common during the juvenile period. Occasionally, juvenile spider monkeys use headshakes during nonsocial locomotor play. In this study, head shaking in early infancy and in adulthood was studied in a captive troop of […]

Head rotations in the play of Hanuman langurs (semnopithecus entellus): Description and analysis of function

Although head rotations are frequent patterns in play behavior in many mammalian species and differ from head movements used in other contexts, they have not been quantitatively described and their function remains unclear. The head rotations occurring in the play behavior of free-ranging Hanuman langurs (Semnopithecus entellus) were described from videotaped sequences. The authors tested […]

Amygdala Size and Hypothalamus Size Predict Social Play Frequency in Nonhuman Primates: A Comparative Analysis Using Independent Contrasts

The amygdala and hypothalamus become sexually differentiated by gonadal hormones giving rise to sexually differentiated behaviors, which include play behavior. Phylogenetic comparative analyses test for relationships between social play and brain structure volumes. Relative volume of the amygdala and hypothalamus correlated with social play, but not nonsocial play, even after controlling for the size of […]

Social play in the American Black Bear- Its similarity to canid social play and an examination of its identifying characteristics

Bears evolved from a canid stock at quite a recent date (early Miocene). Despite this recent origin, bears show substantial morphological, physiological, and ecological differences when compared to modern day canids. However, the display behaviors of Canidae and Ursidae have remained remarkably similar. In this paper, the motor patterns of black bear social play are […]

Exploration and social play in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri)

Squirrel monkeys (Saimiri) have been studied in a variety of laboratory and natural environments. The frequency and form of exploration and social play vary considerably among different environments. For example, in some environments, young monkeys have been observed to play for 3 hr per day; but in one natural environment, not a single bout of […]

Social play and play-soliciting by infant Canids

The development of social interaction was studied in infant coyotes, beagles, and wolves. In this paper, social play behavior is discussed. Social play may be characterized in a number of ways: (i) actions from various contexts are incorporated into labile (unpredictable) temporal sequences; (ii) the “play bout” is typically preceded by a metacommunicative signal which […]