Journal of Ethology

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 63–71 | Cite as

Quantitative and qualitative differences between adult and juvenile agonistic behavior

  • Yuko Yamada


The behavioral interaction of juvenile male rats was compared to that of adults. It was found that there are clear differences both in the quantity and the quality of the agonistic behavior. Several behavioral elements, which have been considered as playful in previous studies, occurred more in juvenile interaction, while some other items characteristic of severe agonistic behavior were more frequent in the interaction of adults. Sequential analysis of behavior items also revealed that there are two patterns of agonistic behavior in rats. While juvenile rats showed the behavior pattern labelled "play-fighting" in previous studies, adult rats, on the other hand, showed both the play-like agonistic behavior pattern and the "serious fighting" pattern. The possible relationship between agonistic behavior among littermates and sexual behavior is also discussed.


Sexual Behavior Behavior Pattern Upright Posture Agonistic Behavior Social Play 
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Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, School of LettersNagoya UniversityJapan

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