Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e27344. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027344. Epub 2011 Nov 16.

Ontogenetic trajectories of chimpanzee social play: similarities with humans.

Author information

  • 1Natural History Museum, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Abstract

Social play, a widespread phenomenon in mammals, is a multifunctional behavior, which can have many different roles according to species, sex, age, relationship quality between playmates, group membership, context, and habitat. Play joins and cuts across a variety of disciplines leading directly to inquiries relating to individual developmental changes and species adaptation, thus the importance of comparative studies appears evident. Here, we aim at proposing a possible ontogenetic pathway of chimpanzee play (Pan troglodytes) and contrast our data with those of human play. Chimpanzee play shows a number of changes from infancy to juvenility. Particularly, solitary and social play follows different developmental trajectories. While solitary play peaks in infancy, social play does not show any quantitative variation between infancy and juvenility but shows a strong qualitative variation in complexity, asymmetry, and playmate choice. Like laughter in humans, the playful expressions in chimpanzees (at the different age phases) seem to have a role in advertising cooperative dispositions and intentions thus increasing the likelihood of engaging in solid social relationships. In conclusion, in chimpanzees, as in humans, both play behavior and the signals that accompany play serve multiple functions according to the different age phases.

PMID:
22110630
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3217932
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk