Fun and games are vital for young wildlife. Engaging in playful activity allows animals to explore potential dangers in a protected environment and shows profound benefits to this seemingly childish action. In this fascinating listen, Caitlin O'Connell - a behavioural ecologist at Harvard Medical School - explores how many young animals develop skills key to their survival whilst at play. "People tend to think of play as an activity one engages in at one’s leisure, outside of learning important skills needed to succeed later in life, such as hunting, mating, and evading predators. But although playing is fun for all involved - and fun for those who are watching - play behaviors evolved as ritualized forms of survival skills needed later in life, providing the opportunity to perfect those skills."