For wild animals, playing is the best way to learn how to survive

For wild animals, playing is the best way to learn how to survive

the magazine Scientific American The August issue of games is devoted to young animals and the essential role they play in their development. Play allows them, like humans, to integrate the basic concepts of adulthood.

Why do animals play nickname Scientific American With the cover of the August issue, the stunning photo of a family of elephants seems to be blissfully freaking out. After observing several groups of elephants in Namibia, Caitlin O’Connell, an ethicist at Harvard Medical School who specializes in elephant behavior and communication, described in the journal the importance of games to the development of the youngest. The researcher complements this analysis with the analysis of other species.

Playing is the same ‘The most dangerous thing’And Refers to the article in its online version, is necessary for “Developing the physical and cognitive abilities that animals need to survive and reproduce”. The more animals that play, the greater their journey “Excellent [leurs] skills”.

play to learn

Thus, social play allows a young elephant to learn how to interact with its mates, when playing with a stick or a branch teaches it to improve its environment. Motor games, including movement, jumping or running, help in the development of motor skills, for later protection from predators or injuries caused by congeners.

These lion cubs games aim to develop their hunting skills.

willingness to risk

When the animal plays with its peers in an environment it knows, it can prepare for the ups and downs of wildlife and improve its abilities. In the face of unforeseen stressful situations.

The game provides an environment to experience dangers.”

By endangering himself, the animal also develops its creativity. Thus, sea lions play in the water, throwing themselves up before facing the waves. What game first of all actually allows them to learn how to dodge an orca or shark attack.

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“All social creatures” need to play. Thus, children who play with their peers at the same time develop their bonds of trust, which are essential for collective life throughout their lives. “Our ability to innovate and adapt is rooted in the game”, summarizes the world of behavior.


The world’s first famous scientific journal was created in 1845, and it is published in many other countries, including France. (for information). All disciplines there are often handled by the researchers themselves


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