Environmental influences on play behaviour in immature gelada baboons
Barrett L., Dunbar RIM., Dunbar P.
Data from gelada baboons, Theropithecus gelada, were used to test the hypothesis of Martin (Anim. Behav., 1982, 30, 294-295) and Lee (Behaviour, 1984, 91, 245-261; Primate Ontogeny, Cognition and Social Behaviour, 1986, Ed. by J. Else & P. C. Lee, Cambridge University Press, pp. 227-237) that the incidence of play behaviour among immature animals can be used as an indicator of environmental conditions. The results provide substantial support for the hypothesis: both the quality of play (percentage of time spent playing, number of play bouts per hour) and play quality (high-energy versus low-energy actions) were significantly correlated with rainfall, and hence with habitat quality. © 1992 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.