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An Exploration of Play Behaviors in Raven Nestlings

Osvath, Mathias LU ; Osvath, Helena LU and Bååth, Rasmus LU (2014) In Animal behavior and cognition 1(2). p.157-165
Abstract
Play is widespread among vertebrates. Some animal groups stand out in their play behaviors in levels of complexity, innovativeness, sociality, and volume. Despite the vast phylogenetic distance between corvids, parrots, great apes, and dolphins, all are usually identified as among the most playful. These groups also have several complex cognitive skills in common. There is growing agreement that play has evolved multiple times under different selective pressures in different lineages. As these groups appear similar in their complex play but are separated by considerable evolutionary distance, the similarity is unlikely to result from homology. Far more probable is that the similarity has arisen from convergent or parallel evolution. It is... (More)
Play is widespread among vertebrates. Some animal groups stand out in their play behaviors in levels of complexity, innovativeness, sociality, and volume. Despite the vast phylogenetic distance between corvids, parrots, great apes, and dolphins, all are usually identified as among the most playful. These groups also have several complex cognitive skills in common. There is growing agreement that play has evolved multiple times under different selective pressures in different lineages. As these groups appear similar in their complex play but are separated by considerable evolutionary distance, the similarity is unlikely to result from homology. Far more probable is that the similarity has arisen from convergent or parallel evolution. It is important to conduct comparative ontogenetic play studies on these groups to learn more about what basic processes underlie complex play and whether such play is, indeed, related to complex cognition. Toward that end, we explored the play behavior of raven nestlings over the last ten days before they fledged. We found high levels of play both in terms of instances initiated and duration. The play behaviors were at level with – or above – maintenance behaviors and flight training. Most of the play was object play, but social object play and apparent play contagion was also recorded. The importance of play in developing young ravens is clear. The reasons might be less clear, however play could underlie both object-related and social development. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Raven play, Avian play, Development of play, Raven ontogeny, Physical cognition
in
Animal behavior and cognition
volume
1
issue
2
pages
157 - 165
publisher
Sciknow Publications Ltd.
ISSN
2372-5052
DOI
10.12966/abc.05.06.2014
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
782265d8-972c-4909-a245-e47f278d43d8 (old id 4648072)
alternative location
http://abc.sciknow.org/archive_20140206.html
date added to LUP
2014-09-24 09:46:01
date last changed
2016-04-15 13:47:58
@article{782265d8-972c-4909-a245-e47f278d43d8,
  abstract     = {Play is widespread among vertebrates. Some animal groups stand out in their play behaviors in levels of complexity, innovativeness, sociality, and volume. Despite the vast phylogenetic distance between corvids, parrots, great apes, and dolphins, all are usually identified as among the most playful. These groups also have several complex cognitive skills in common. There is growing agreement that play has evolved multiple times under different selective pressures in different lineages. As these groups appear similar in their complex play but are separated by considerable evolutionary distance, the similarity is unlikely to result from homology. Far more probable is that the similarity has arisen from convergent or parallel evolution. It is important to conduct comparative ontogenetic play studies on these groups to learn more about what basic processes underlie complex play and whether such play is, indeed, related to complex cognition. Toward that end, we explored the play behavior of raven nestlings over the last ten days before they fledged. We found high levels of play both in terms of instances initiated and duration. The play behaviors were at level with – or above – maintenance behaviors and flight training. Most of the play was object play, but social object play and apparent play contagion was also recorded. The importance of play in developing young ravens is clear. The reasons might be less clear, however play could underlie both object-related and social development.},
  author       = {Osvath, Mathias and Osvath, Helena and Bååth, Rasmus},
  issn         = {2372-5052},
  keyword      = {Raven play,Avian play,Development of play,Raven ontogeny,Physical cognition},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {157--165},
  publisher    = {Sciknow Publications Ltd.},
  series       = {Animal behavior and cognition},
  title        = {An Exploration of Play Behaviors in Raven Nestlings},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.12966/abc.05.06.2014},
  volume       = {1},
  year         = {2014},
}