Abstract # 195:

Scheduled for Monday, September 21, 2009 08:45 AM-08:55 AM: Session 18 (Del Mar Room) Oral Presentation


M. Hess1,2, D. Broadfield1,2 and A. Halloran1,2,3
1Florida Atlantic University, Department of Anthropology, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA, 2Elgin Center for Conservation and Behavioral Research, 3Maderas Rainforest Conservatory

Play behavior is necessary for behavioral and motor development and is influenced by social, ontological, and ecological factors. Using 200 hours of behavioral observation taken from the chimpanzees at the Elgin Center for Conservation and Behavioral Research, located at Lion Country Safari, Loxahatchee, FL the effects of maternal investment in rates of social play were investigated. The focal group was composed of 12 individuals, 3 male and 9 female. There are 3 juveniles, 2 adolescent, and 7 adults in the group. Maternal investment was determined by establishing an activity budget that measured the association of the chimpanzees with each other and the amount of time spent in various activities. Olive spent 21% of her time with her mother and 19.5% of her time engaged in social play, Noel spent 86% of her time with her mother and only 4% of her time with engaged in social play. The amount of time the youngest female juveniles spent with their mothers was statistically significant as were their rates of social play [Paired t-tests, z-score=15.63; p<0.05]. This research reveals that amount of social play correlates more strongly with maternal investment than does solitary play. Factors contributing to this variation may include the rearing environment of the mother, the ranking of the mother, and the number of available play partners.