The Scientist - "Recess"
The biggest problem with studying play behavior has been defining it. Now there is a possible definition. I do find this a bit silly, actually. While I appreciate the love of learning and discovery inherent to the scientific process, I can't help but chuckle at the notion that other species, including octopi, can't possibly engage in play behavior because *we*, the supposedly superior species, just can't identify it. Or worse, the idea that when a puppy play bows, some scientists maintain he's not engaging in play behavior! I would find that a sad world!
Here are the five characteristics to help scientists better "define" play behavior in other species. Don't worry, you won't need this with you every time you think your dog is playing.