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Curiosity and Exploratory Behavior

Many species of animals, when placed into unfamiliar places or near unfamiliar objects, display a characteristic pattern of behavior. The specific details of these behaviors vary by spe­ cies but share certain features: If the animal is in a new place, it typically moves throughout the physical space, often in an apparently sys­ tematic fashion, and enters most parts of it. If the novelty of the situation includes unfamiliar objects, the animal approaches these objects and sometimes makes physical contact with them. This type of behavior is often attributed to something called “curiosity.”