A description of social play by the Australian magpie Gymnorhina tibicen based on Eshkol-Wachman notation.

The social play of magpies consists of play fights, play chases and other less frequent interactions involving hanging from branches and elements of sexual behaviour. play fighting accounted for 60- 80% of social play and was analysed in detail. Two main forms were identified, fast and slow play fights. The latter accounted for 20% of play fights, and became less common as the juveniles got older and more skilled in their movements. When one partner was older or larger than the other there was a clear division of roles in fast play fights into attacker and defender. In more evenly matched pairs, the role of attacker and defender switched many times during an interaction. The goal of the attacker appeared to be to peck the opponent on the side of the head and prevent it from escaping or pecking back. Some of the characteristics of play fighting in magpies support the hypothesis that play functions as practice in the performance of motor patterns.-from Author

The social play of magpies consists of play fights, play chases and other less frequent interactions involving hanging from branches and elements of sexual behaviour. play fighting accounted for 60- 80% of social play and was analysed in detail. Two main forms were identified, fast and slow play fights. The latter accounted for 20% of play fights, and became less common as the juveniles got older and more skilled in their movements. When one partner was older or larger than the other there was a clear division of roles in fast play fights into attacker and defender. In more evenly matched pairs, the role of attacker and defender switched many times during an interaction. The goal of the attacker appeared to be to peck the opponent on the side of the head and prevent it from escaping or pecking back. Some of the characteristics of play fighting in magpies support the hypothesis that play functions as practice in the performance of motor patterns.-from Author

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