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Selected Publication:

Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Review

Year: 2017

Authors: O'Hara, M; Auersperg, AM

Title: Object play in parrots and corvids.

Source: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 2017; 16: 119-125

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Auersperg Alice Isabel Marie
O'Hara Mark Christopher

Vetmed Research Units
Messerli Research Institute, Comparative Cognition

Play behaviour may be subdivided into social play, locomotor play and object play. Object play has been proposed to constitute an important factor in developing skills concerned with physical problem solving. Especially tool using species seem to benefit from object play during their ontogeny. However, object play is not easily distinguished from exploration as both behaviours seem to serve no immediate benefit. Here we try to discuss proposed definitional differentiations and their implications. Further, we provide examples of how object play might be adaptive for problem solving proficiency in some bird species, indicating similar ecological factors driving the evolution of object play in primates and birds.

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