Identification of the possible origin of the body target that differentiates play fighting from serious fighting in syrian golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus)

play fighting in the Syrian Golden hamster Mesocricetus auratus can be distinguished from serious fighting by the targets attacked in each case. In play fighting, the animals attack and defend the cheeks and cheek pouches, whereas in serious fighting they attack and defend the rump and lower flanks. Since play typically involves the use of behaviors borrowed from other functional contexts, this paper investigates the origin of the cheek target during play fighting. Comparison of resident?intruder serious fighting with awake and anesthetized intruders does not reveal the cheek to be an inhibited target for serious attack. Similarly, analysis of social investigation and allog?rooming, while revealing the ears to be important targets, do not show the cheeks to be targets in these behaviors. Sniffing, licking, and nibbling of the cheek area appear to occur mainly during sexual encounters by males. This area, seemingly a sexual target, may be the one utilized during play fighting. Copyright © 1988 Wiley?Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company

play fighting in the Syrian Golden hamster Mesocricetus auratus can be distinguished from serious fighting by the targets attacked in each case. In play fighting, the animals attack and defend the cheeks and cheek pouches, whereas in serious fighting they attack and defend the rump and lower flanks. Since play typically involves the use of behaviors borrowed from other functional contexts, this paper investigates the origin of the cheek target during play fighting. Comparison of resident?intruder serious fighting with awake and anesthetized intruders does not reveal the cheek to be an inhibited target for serious attack. Similarly, analysis of social investigation and allog?rooming, while revealing the ears to be important targets, do not show the cheeks to be targets in these behaviors. Sniffing, licking, and nibbling of the cheek area appear to occur mainly during sexual encounters by males. This area, seemingly a sexual target, may be the one utilized during play fighting. Copyright © 1988 Wiley?Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company

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