Young Chimps Play Much Like Children Do11/18/11
FRIDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Young chimpanzees play and
develop in much the same way as human children do, and researchers
say that might help shed light on the role of human play
Italian researchers found that solitary play in chimpanzees
peaks in infancy, while levels of social play remained relatively
constant between infants and juveniles. However, there were
significant changes in measures of social play such as complexity
and playmate choice as the chimps grew up.
A comparison of young chimp and human behavior revealed that
both species show significant development in play behavior as they
progress from infancy to childhood, and both consistently use
playful facial expressions to communicate and build social
The researchers, Elisabetta Palagi and Giada Cordoni of the
University of Pisa, also found that both chimps and humans prefer
peers for play partners.
The study was published Nov. 16 in the online journal
This is the first research to compare development of play
behavior in chimpanzees and humans in a standardized way, the study
authors noted in a journal news release.
The Nemours Foundation has more about the
importance of play.
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