Play and Fighting

Sergio M. Pellis and Vivien C. Pellis

in The Behavior of the Laboratory Rat

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780195162851
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199863891 | DOI:
 Play and Fighting

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This chapter examines play and fighting behavior in rats. It begins with a discussion of serious fighting of adults, which is then contrasted with the playful fighting of juveniles. It shows that serious and playful fighting are distinct behaviors in rats, with play derived from sex, not aggression. Rats have modified the sexual content of play fighting and have co-opted its use in adulthood for quasi-aggressive purposes.

Keywords: laboratory rats; playing; playful fighting; juvenile rats; aggression

Chapter.  5392 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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