Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2016

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Primate Behavior

Committee Chair

Lori K Sheeran

Second Committee Member

Jessica A. Mayhew

Third Committee Member

Lixing Sun


In this study, I examined the relationship between play behaviors, play location, the frequency of selected play signals, and play bout termination in Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) during immature social play. I gathered video data at the Valley of the Wild Monkeys, Mt. Huangshan, China, and focused on 21 juvenile and infant macaques (zero to five years of age). I used an all occurrence sampling method to score play behaviors and play signals with an ethogram. I hypothesized that play groups would use play signals in functionally appropriate ways based on the location of the play bout, the number of audience members in proximity to the players, and play bout length. In the 283 playful interactions that I observed, immature macaques utilized multiple body and facial play signals in various constructs. These data show that immature Tibetan macaques use a versatile repertoire of play behaviors and play signals to sustain play in a tourism site.