Video of 2 young foxes enjoying themselves on a trampoline

The question of why do animals play is not as easily answered as one would think. It seems there might be many reasons for play and not just to develop skills for survival. The video below shows two young foxes enjoying themselves on a trampoline. One thing is for sure that they are truly enjoying themselves. Listed below are some theories as to the reasons of the role of play.


Several theories

1. Surplus Energy Theory

Herbert Spencer (the "survival of the fittest" guy) said that infants play because they need to get rid of excess energy. Most efforts to test this hypothesis have failed, though. Ex. Muller-Schwarze found no increases in play in deprived black-tailed deer. Similarly, Chepko found no diffs in play of control and deprived goat kids.

2. Pleasure Theory

They do it because it feels good This is hard to test! Hasn't been tested yet

3. Arousal/Stimulation theory

sic. theory of behavioral hyperactivity Ellis suggested a drive that undelies play, a drive to increase arousal. But again, not easy to test, and not tested yet.

4. Practice Theory

Play helps kids to practice movements, etc. that they will need later. Ex. kids playing house, infants play-fighting, play-pouncing, etc. BUT play deprived animals seem to do fine. So, what?

5. Exercise theory

The use of muscles and other systems in play stimulates and helps contribute to their development. No data, but seems good.

6. Social Functions Theory

Play is where you figure out who's who in the hierarchy. Except, solitary animals play; something you would not expect were this the sole function of play.


Responses to "Amazing footage shows 2 wild foxes playing on a trampoline."

  1. Janet R says:

    So sweet... playfulness :)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Nature can surely, be so entertaining and a good laugh

  3. Unknown says:

    foxes naturally have this behavior of jumping. I was watching this nature series North American on the Animal Planet and they were jumping like this to ponce on mice. I think they are just enjoying themselves

  4. Anonymous says:

    They are so beautiful and like little children, so happy. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Unknown says:

    they have probably watched the humans doing it and thought it looked fun, then they gave it a go!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I enjoyed watching them play and seeing the moment the one fox realized that jumping was easier...............This video is amazingly cute!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Cute, seeing happy animals make me so joyful, even this time of month :-) :-)

  8. Anonymous says:

    Only one of them seems to be able to see his shadow. Pouncing is natural to get over mice and other rodents buried under grasses and snow. Instead of sneaking up, they surprise them from above. And if that isn't the reason, how about, "They do it because they can."

  9. Unknown says:

    Why does there have to a scientific reason behind what play means? Hell, play feels good. Life would suck if we didn't have fun!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    These 2 are so playing!! They are doing what foxes

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