Before I forget --
I was in bed, nearly-asleep, in that bare sliver of consciousness before sleep that is little more than a hallucinatory theatre, when a strange idea flung itself on stage.
I've been thinking about animal behaviors, especially as it relates to play. I've read a few books on this, and was working on a smashing post which I will never, ever finish on the very subject.
I was thinking about a turtle I once had. I don't recall ever seeing it engage in play-behavior.
None of my experiences with reptiles/amphibians ever yielded any strong impression of behavior that even appeared to be play.
Some very quick and cursory Googling showed that the topic has been bandied about.
Perhaps some human apprehension toward reptiles/amphibians stems from lack of recognizable patterns.
Maybe they do play, but the behaviors are so distant from our own experience that we don't recognize them.
Riffing on this topic, I made a few very rough explanations:
1. Cold-blooded animals must conserve energy more than mammals/birds. They cannot afford to engage in seemingly-superfluous behaviors.
2. Reptiles/Amphibians do not commonly form social structures or engage in nurture behavior. The ones that do (alligators, I believe, may spend time with their young) often nest in isolated areas only now being monitored by researchers.
3. Brain structure? Not geared toward pattern-recognition or memory.
4. Aforementioned unrecognizable play structures.
Anybody have any knowledge on this topic?