Zoological Research ›› 2018, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (4): 272-283.doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.048

• Reports • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Playing it cool: Characterizing social play, bout termination, and candidate play signals of juvenile and infant Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana

Kaitlin R. Wright1, Jessica A. Mayhew1,2, Lori K. Sheeran1,2, Jake A. Funkhouser1, Ronald. S. Wagner1,3, Li-Xing Sun1,3, Jin-Hua Li4,*   

  1. 1 Primate Behavior and Ecology Program, Central Washington University, WA 98926, USA
    2 Department of Anthropology, Central Washington University, WA 98926, USA
    3 Department of Biological Sciences, Central Washington University, WA 98926, USA
    4 School of Resource and Environmental Engineering, Anhui University Hefei Anhui 230601, China
  • Online:2018-07-18 Published:2018-05-11
  • Contact: Jin-Hua Li,E-mail:jhli@ahu.edu.cn E-mail:jhli@ahu.edu.cn
  • Supported by:


Play behaviors and signals during playful interactions with juvenile conspecifics are important for both the social and cognitive development of young animals. The social organization of a species can also influence juvenile social play. We examined the relationships among play behaviors, candidate play signals, and play bout termination in Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) during juvenile and infant social play to characterize the species play style. As Tibetan macaques are despotic and live in groups with strict linear dominance hierarchies and infrequent reconciliation, we predicted that play would be at risk of misinterpretation by both the individuals engaged in the play bout and by those watching, possibly leading to injury of the players. Animals living in such societies might need to frequently and clearly signal playful intent to play partners and other group members to avoid aggressive outcomes. We gathered video data on 21 individually-identified juvenile and infant macaques (one month to five years of age) from the Valley of the Wild Monkeys, Mt. Huangshan, China. We used all-occurrence sampling to record play behaviors and candidate play signals based on an ethogram. We predicted that play groups would use multiple candidate play signals in a variety of contexts and in association with the number of audience members in proximity to the players and play bout length. In the 283 playful interactions we scored, juvenile and infant macaques used multiple body and facial candidate play signals. Our data showed that juvenile and infant Tibetan macaques use a versatile repertoire of play behaviors and signals to sustain play.

CLC Number: 

[1] Peng-Lai Fan, Yi-Ming Li, Craig B. Stanford, Fang Li, Ze-Tian Liu, Kai-Hua Yang, Xue-Cong Liu. Home range variation of two different-sized groups of golden snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) in Shennongjia, China: implications for feeding competition [J]. Zoological Research, 2019, 40(2): 121-128.
[2] Jin-Bo Xiong, Li Nie, Jiong Chen. Current understanding on the roles of gut microbiota in fish disease and immunity [J]. Zoological Research, 2019, 40(2): 70-76.
[3] Yan-Fang Cui, Feng-Jie Wang, Lei Yu, Hua-Hu Ye, Gui-Bo Yang. Metagenomic comparison of the rectal microbiota between rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) and cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) [J]. Zoological Research, 2019, 40(2): 89-93.
[4] Yi Ren, Shui-Fang Liu, Li Nie, Shi-Yu Cai, Jiong Chen. Involvement of ayu NOD2 in NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways: Insights into functional conservation of NOD2 in antibacterial innate immunity [J]. Zoological Research, 2019, 40(2): 77-88.
[5] Chao-Hao Chen, Bi-Jun Li, Xiao-Hui Gu, Hao-Ran Lin, Jun-Hong Xia. Marker-assisted selection of YY supermales from a genetically improved farmed tilapia-derived strain [J]. Zoological Research, 2019, 40(2): 108-112.
[6] Qi Jiang, Dong-Po Xia, Xi Wang, Dao Zhang, Bing-Hua Sun, Jin-Hua Li. Interchange between grooming and infant handling in female Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) [J]. Zoological Research, 2019, 40(2): 139-145.
[7] Wei-Wei Fu, Xiao-Wei Wang, Cheng-Liang Wang, Hai-Tao Zhao, Yi Ren, Bao-Guo Li. Effects of age, sex and manual task on hand preference in wild Rhinopithecus roxellana [J]. Zoological Research, 2019, 40(2): 129-138.
[8] You-Ji Zhang, Yi-Xin Chen, Hao-Chun Chen, Yuan Chen, Hui Yao, Wan-Ji Yang, Xiang-Dong Ruan, Zuo-Fu Xiang. Social functions of relaxed open-mouth display in golden snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) [J]. Zoological Research, 2019, 40(2): 113-120.
[9] Ruo-Han Qi, Yan Chen, Zhi-Lai Guo, Fen Zhang, Zheng Fang, Kai Huang, Hai-Ning Yu, Yi-Peng Wang. Identification and characterization of two novel cathelicidins from the frog Odorrana livida [J]. Zoological Research, 2019, 40(2): 94-101.
[10] Cheng-Dong Wang, Xiao-Fang Guo, Thomas Chi Bun Wong, Hui Wang, Xu-Feng Qi, Dong-Qing Cai, Yi Deng, Hui Zhao. Developmental expression of three prmt genes in Xenopus [J]. Zoological Research, 2019, 40(2): 102-107.
[11] Simon Musila, Zhong-Zheng Chen, Quan Li, Richard Yego, Bin Zhang, Kenneth Onditi, Immaculate Muthoni, Shui-Wang He, Samson Omondi, James Mathenge, Esther N. Kioko, Xue-Long Jiang. Diversity and distribution patterns of non-volant small mammals along different elevation gradients on Mt. Kenya, Kenya [J]. Zoological Research, 2019, 40(1): 53-60.
[12] . 2019 New Year Address of Zoological Research [J]. Zoological Research, 2019, 40(1): 1-2.
[13] . Contents [J]. Zoological Research, 2019, 40(1): 1-69.
[14] Simon Musila, Ara Monadjem, Paul W. Webala, Bruce D. Patterson, Rainer Hutterer, Yvonne A. De Jong, Thomas M. Butynski, Geoffrey Mwangi, Zhong-Zheng Chen, Xue-Long Jiang. An annotated checklist of mammals of Kenya [J]. Zoological Research, 2019, 40(1): 3-52.
[15] Ogeto Mwebi, Esther Nguta, Veronica Onduso, Ben Nyakundi, Xue-Long Jiang, Esther N. Kioko. Small mammal diversity of Mt. Kenya based on carnivore fecal and surface bone remains [J]. Zoological Research, 2019, 40(1): 61-69.
Full text



[1] ZHENG Ping-ping,CHEN Wen,LI Jie,RUI Jin-long,NIE Liu-wang *. Construction of a cDNA Library from the Testis and Sequence Analysis of the Ubiquitin Gene from Rana nigromaculata (in English)[J]. Zoological Research, 2007, 28(1): 9 -16 .
[2] PAN Pu-liang,WANG Hong,N.G.Jablonski. Long Bone and Skeletal Allometry in Rhinopithecus[J]. Zoological Research, 1989, 10(1): 23 -30 .
[3] . Phylogentic Relationships of Butterflies in the Subfamily Elymninae (Lepidoptera: Satyridae) Based on Mitochondrial ND1 and COI Gene Sequences[J]. Zoological Research, 2007, 28(5): 477 -484 .
[4] DING Fang-mei,SHI Hong-wen,HUANG Yuan. Complete Mitochondrial Genome and Secondary Structures of lrRNA and srRNA of Atractomorpha sinensis (Orthoptera, Pyrgomorphidae)[J]. Zoological Research, 2007, 28(6): 580 -588 .
[5] TONG Chun-fu,ZHANG Fei-jun,LU Jian-jian. Variation Characteristics of the Macrobenthic Fauna Community in the Scirpus mariqueter Zone of the Yangtze Estuary During the Growing Seasons[J]. Zoological Research, 2007, 28(6): 640 -646 .
[6] YANG Ze-yu,MIAO Yong-wang ,LI Da-lin,HUO Jin-long,CHEN Tao,HE Chao-yang,CHUANG Xiang-hui,TANG Shou-kun. Unfolding of Population Structure in Dehong Buffalo Using Microsatellite DNA Markers[J]. Zoological Research, 2007, 28(6): 659 -663 .
[7] . White-headed Ducks and Long-tailed Ducks Were Recorded in Xinjiang, China[J]. Zoological Research, 2007, 28(6): 673 -674 .
[8] ZHANG Ying-xia,ZOU Ai-hui,MANCHU Ri-ga,ZHOU Yong-can,WANG Shi-feng. Purification and Antimicrobial Activity of Antimicrobial Protein from Brown-spotted Grouper, Epinephelus fario[J]. Zoological Research, 2008, 29(6): 627 -632 .
[9] NIE Hong,YIN Zhen,LIN Qian-xuan,FENG Xue-ying,ZHANG Jian-yu,LI Ko-yan. Morphological Characteristics of Smooth Muscle Cells Isolated from the Rat Ductus Deferens[J]. Zoological Research, 2008, 29(6): 633 -636 .
[10] LIU Jing-yuan,DU Hong,TIAN Geng-bai,YU Pin-hong,WANG Shen-wen,PEN Hong. Community Structure and Diversity Distributions of Small Mammals in Different Sample Plots in the Eastern Part of Wuling Mountains[J]. Zoological Research, 2008, 29(6): 637 -645 .