Play in Harbour seals (Phoca vitulina)

Deane Renouf and John. W. Lawson
Department of Psychology and Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's, NF, Canada AIB 3X9
Journal of Zoology. 208, 73 - 82. 1986
Abstract: Harbour seals in a breeding colony at Miquelon exhibited 13 distinct types of play behaviour, 80% of which was solitary locomotor play. Most play was displayed by yearlings and juveniles, though a significant amount of adult play occurred as well. Mothers and pups rarely played. Yearlings played socially as often as alone, but seals of other age classes played by themselves most often. Only social play resembled adult activities. It is suggested that the function of mammalian play has been obscured by its similarity to adult behaviour

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