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  Grade 5

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        Ruby swinging a Tire

If you look at the tire there is a piece of wood that Ruby grabs. She holds it, rolls around with it, plays with it, drops it and picks it up.  There is a report about a young female chimpanzee and her "proto-doll" that shows the same behavior. There had been only a few observations about this kind of behavior and it was thought it only occurred in the wild.

Babies, both human and chimpanzee, start out exploring the world around them. First they explore just in their close surroundings

Human and chimpanzee mothers provide support: poking, tickling and smiling.

As chimpanzees grow older they learn to use objects.

Chimpanzees may learn certain skills in play, such as sponge making from leaves. They might also make sticks for digging termites.

Human children use objects; build structures out of blocks, and sort by color shape and sizes. 



Primates, both human and non-human play chase.  I remember watching two female baboons run around a pole chasing each other for a long time and they didn’t really seem like they wanted to catch one another, they just wanted to chase.  Humans can act the same way; I used to get my brother to chase me just for the thrill of it. 

Play is an important activity for the well being among many species.  It is more often in the young and decreases with age. Primates are social beings. If play decreases with age than it must change form or something takes its place.   

for additional reading on play go to Chimpanzee Behavior  cards

contributed by Eric Matthews


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