Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Squirrels have a strong personality!

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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The House of Science is like a collection of stories. Beautiful tales told to live in all their freshness. But also in all its complexities. Arch to marvel at the treasures of the world. In this new episode, let’s meet an unfathomable little animal: the gold-covered ground squirrel.

ground squirrel in Coat golden. It’s a very strange name. For a rather strange little animal. a kind of squirrel So cute with the gangster he Door on him from. little in pattern squirrel. But it is larger – up to 30 cm, but still weighs less than 400 grams – and without dents on the face. Without the high pitched sounds of Alvin’s buddies too!

The gold-covered ground squirrel lives in the forests of North America. The least we can say is that it is not a very wild animal. The presence of men does not scare him. He even dares to get too close to him when he hopes that he can collect some nuts to nibble on. On the other hand, when a predator of the same type as a lynx, fox, or wolf appears, it is small squirrel An alarm shriek. To allow his rare companions – he is not known for his social connection – to take refuge at the bottom of their burrow.

Finally, seeing the gold-clad ground squirrels sway and sway in the middle of the trees, stopping for some, and letting go for others, we can almost leave ourselves imagining them as different characters. Well, imagine that this is exactly what the researchers confirmed! After observing it for more than 30 years. And to have had some innocent little experiments, too.

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This is because the test known as the Briggs-Myers test does not apply to animals. It is used all over the world. To describe a person’s personality only. For animals, researchers have to find other ways. As for the animals, because unlike the gold-clad ground squirrels, they have already shown distinctive personalities. from Mammals Just like insects or Pisces. The researchers explain this through hereditary Or through different experiences or life strategies.

Environmental advantage or disadvantage?

To assess the character of the animal, therefore, researchers usually place it in a new environment. The idea is to be able to notice how the animal will adapt, how much to risk or how frightened it is when faced with something new. The gold-crusted squirrels were subjected to four different tests. It is placed in a closed box with grid lines and perforations. They were also placed in the presence of a Mirror Where they cannot recognize their own image. They were also slowly approached to determine the duration of their escape. Finally, they were noticed after being captured in a trap without risking their lives. It is enough to highlight four personality traits: boldness, aggressiveness, level of activity and sociability.

If researchers are interested animal character, because they consider it could have environmental consequences. Understand that a more daring animal, for example, or a more aggressive one, can find more food or suitable for a larger area. Or you may become more vulnerable to predators or even accidents.

However, it appears that the bolder gold-clad ground squirrels are already benefiting from larger areas of activity. Bold, active squirrels move faster. Bold, aggressive, and active individuals also have better access to roosts. This is important, because a young squirrel perched on a rock has a better view of its environment. So it should be able to better recognize and escape from predators. Note that access to the roost is also preferred among more social Gold-crusted squirrels.

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The study of animal personality is still in its infancy. But this area looks interesting. Especially because it can bring us a little closer to nature. give birthsympathy For these animals that, surely, are no different from us. And that’s definitely… not that stupid!

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