Squir­rels not as nuts as thought

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

SQUIR­RELS or­gan­ise their nut stashes by type, qual­ity and pos­si­ble even per­sonal pref­er­ence, a study has found.

US re­searchers who tracked 45 fox squir­rels with GPS for two years have con­cluded just as hu­mans or­gan­ise their kitchens, squir­rels ar­range their food stash into more man­age­able col­lec­tions. This, they be­lieve, is so they can re­mem­ber where they buried them as well as con­ceal them from ri­vals.

Squir­rels in the north­ern hemi­sphere gather between 3 000 and 10 000 nuts each au­tumn, stor­ing and us­ing them dur­ing the win­ter months.

The study found the ro­dents fre­quently or­gan­ised their stashes by va­ri­eties, keep­ing each one sep­a­rate.

Lead re­searcher Dr Mikel Del­gado said: “This is the first demon­stra­tion of or­gan­i­sa­tion in a scat­ter-hoard­ing an­i­mal.” – Daily Mail

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