Play bows are one of my favorite behaviors in a chimpanzee’s repertoire. They’re used to initiate play, and they’re almost always effective. This short video was taken a few years ago. You’ll see Foxie use a play bow to get Negra to play with her.
These photos were taken this afternoon in the greenhouse when Burrito was trying to get me to put the camera down and play with him. We see Burrito’s play bow frequently, and it’s almost always directed at his human friends. He presses his belly to the ground and drums his hands repeatedly. As soon as we respond, he springs up and runs off so we can chase him.