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The intention of this research project was to delve into the ecological study of playfulness and what appears to be fun in a broad range of bird species. (1) Do all birds exhibit playfulness and use fun? And if so, (2) how have these behaviors contributed to their evolutionary success? Past research has already been underway to biological define what constitutes both “fun” and “play” in animal species. In the past the majority of all test subjects have been mammals, however in the past decade (and especially in the past five years) other vertebrate species such as birds are beginning to be observed as well. The research is still in progress but it seems very obvious from studies so far have concluded that various aviary species do in fact exhibit playful behavior and have fun. Recent hypotheses regarding play in birds, how common it is among various species, and what species have yet to be studied were topics covered in the research. In essence a variety of species of birds are already confirmed to exhibit play behaviors and are used primarily to establish social connects, social hierarchies, and hone predatory and other survival skills.

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Birds, Ornithology, Fun, Play, Behavior, Ecology

Current Academic Year



Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

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VCU Undergraduate Research Posters


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The Biology of fun: Do birds just want to have a good time?