This exercise should take you 10 minutes of observation time plus recording time. Identify a juvenile and one adult. A juvenile is a primate that has passed out of infancy, but is not yet sexually mature, and is often still partially dependent on one or both parents. Their fur and their playful behavior can distinguish them. For a period of five minutes, observe the juvenile continuously, noting the number of occurrences of the three predetermined behaviors. You pick the three behaviors and use the sheet provided to record your observations. Three behaviors you could use are play, grooming and rest.
After five minutes, switch to using your chosen adult as the focal animal, and record its behavior in the same way. Using your data, try to answer the following questions:
- What are the main differences between juvenile and adult behavior?
- What makes us call some behavior “play”?