Sunday, May 26, 2024

These squirrels are ready to do anything for their nuts

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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The “House of Knowledge” is like a collection of stories. Beautiful stories that tell the living in all its freshness. But also, in all its complexities. Arch to marvel at the world’s treasures. In this 10th episode, let’s just move on to our parks and forests. And this little rodent that climbs trees: the squirrel.

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Scrat. Does this name mean anything to you? Of course. It is that ofsquirrel Prehistoric that appears in ice Age. Willing to do anything to catch an acorn running away from him over and over again. His misfortune drove him from the fictional character to the rank of the main character in the animated movie. His bad luck and a little bit of embarrassment, he must admit.

Because squirrels have long been considered animals, and admittedly they are alive, but still a little simple. Able to bury hazelnuts and forget about them instantly. With an advantage, let’s face it, than to co-publish Trees in the forests They inhabit. At least, as much Gray squirrels. In fact, their red cousins ​​tend to hide their nuts in recessesthe trees, In theAir Free. A less useful mimic of nature.

But let’s go back to the gray squirrels. Those who have observed it note that they have a habit of hiding, digging, and re-burying a nut or nut everywhere. This is up to five times beforewinter. Each time he moved them away from the tree that carried them.

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Cunning like a gray squirrel?

Just because these little creatures forget where the hazelnuts were buried, they barely disappeared from view. Then they find it only thanks to the accuracy of their files Smell. Well, we don’t know at all Princeton University researchers (United State). The memory It will actually be the main tool that squirrels will use to find hidden food.

Moreover, to make things easier, gray squirrels prefer to separate the different types of nuts. Sort of, we group fruits and vegetables together in a must-remember list. Just to make it easier to remember. In human memory, Researchers Talking about retail. So, in squirrels, a kind of spatial segmentation.

very good. But that doesn’t explain why the same nut is reburied multiple times. To deceive would-be thieves, researchers say. Noticeable gray squirrels also like to pretend to simply bury an acorn while keeping it hidden in their mouths, though. What scholars call tactical deception. And that was previously only observed in Primates. So, our gray squirrel friend … not that stupid!

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