ANIMAL RIGHTS
News, Information, and Knowledge Resources

UC Berkeley research shows squirrel behavior is not so ‘nutty’

What’s cool is that these animals are solving problems right under our feet and most people don’t realize it... Animals are as smart as they need to be, including humans.


LAURA SHIELDS:
‘As the squirrel rotates a nut between its front paws, its brain is considering a variety of factors to reach the answer to a critical question: Do I eat this nut now, or do I store it for later? That’s one of the conclusions of the most comprehensive study of the squirrels’ decision-making process – research that revealed that their behaviors are far more intricate than the casual observer realizes.

An analysis of fox squirrels on the UC Berkeley campus by psychologist Mikel Delgado found that the rodents weigh multiple variables when deciding to store – or cache – food for later. Squirrels assess the characteristics of a food item, such as its perishability and nutritional value. They also consider the availability of food at that time and the presence or absence of competitors. “What’s cool is that these animals are solving problems right under our feet and most people don’t realize it,” said Delgado, whose Ph.D. dissertation was on the complexity of squirrel behavior…

Delgado hopes her research on the cognitive ability of the fox squirrel will help people appreciate squirrels more. “Animals are as smart as they need to be, including humans,” she explained. “They have evolved to solve a particular type of problem, and for squirrels that problem is storing food and finding it later. They are really good at that problem”.’ SOURCE…

RELATED VIDEO:

You might also like

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

ENTER CAPTCHA CODE BELOW: