Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Play Among Animals
The ways in which animals play and why they do so is an enormously popular area of study. That researchers and nonresearchers alike want to know more about the details about the evolution and development of animal play is evidenced by the enormously popular essay, published in February 2008, as the cover story in the New York Times magazine titled “Taking Play Seriously,” and a resurgence in interest in animal play among researchers in biology, psychology, and anthropology. Here we discuss animal (mammalian) social play behavior giving special attention to the structure and function of play (what animals do when they play and why it has evolved), the emotional correlates of play, and the role of play in social development. While we all recognize animal play when we see it, the study of play continues to challenge students of animal behavior. Researchers are still discovering new facts about this fascinating ...