Das Spielverhalten der Keas (Nestor notabilis Gould) des Zürcher Zoos


Zoo Zürich, CH-8044 Zürich, Zurichbergstr. 221, Schweiz.


This study uses a new definition of play behaviour to find out play sequences and the elements the kea uses during play. 14 different keas (2 pairs with 3 and 4 chicks and 3 adults) were observed during 420 h. Observations were made by filming (16 mm), photographing and by speaking sequences on tape-recorder. The observations showed that it was almost always possible to separate play sequences from other behaviour. Some difficulties arose because the behaviour sequences of the kea have a high percentage of variance. To prove that the definition of play is really useful one should use a species whose behaviour is largely innate and not as adaptive as in the kea. With such a species the sequences of “normal” behaviour would be well defined, while the sequences of play behaviour should show no order.