Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Exploratory Behavior

Curiosity; investigation of novelty. Exploratory behavior is prominent in mammals, especially the young; in primates this behavior persists for life. Besides existing as an independent behavior, exploration forms a component of play behavior. In the ethological literature, some authors separate curiosity as the investigation of novelty, while relegating exploration to the investigation of new spatial conditions; others do not use the term curiosity in association with animals at all because of the implication of consciousness.

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