You probably think you’re top dog when it comes to organization, right? We all know that one person who is super organized to the point of being irritating – if you can’t think of one then it’s probably you! But, no matter how organized you or your friends might be, it’s fair to say, you have nothing on squirrels! Yes, those cute little tree-dwelling, acorn stashing rodents put us to shame in the organization front.
Indeed, in spite of the fact that squirrels possess brains the size of an M&M, they actually have very good survival instincts, and these are used to help them survive in harsh environments, as well as evading predators. Squirrels have used these primal abilities to excel in other areas, and their organization is key to their survival. Here are some of the ways in which squirrels are more organized than you.
They organize their food
One of the most impressive things about squirrels is their ability to organize their food. You would think they would just chuck all their nuts in a big pile together, but you’d be wrong. In actual fact, squirrels will sort their nuts into specific piles, and do as much as they can to keep separate types separate. An experiment was conducted by researchers at UC Berkeley who tracked 45 wild squirrels on campus. They provided the squirrels with a selection of nuts including pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts. And they were amazed to find that the animals actually sorted their nuts out into individual piles, eventually storing their food according to type!
They know when to stash
Another incredible thing about squirrels is the fact that they actually know when they need to stash their food. For example, acorns that sprout late have a high-fat content, and they are ideal for storing for the winter months. Squirrels know this, and so they make sure to store these acorn long-term for the winter while subsisting on less nutritious acorns in the warmer months. This shows forethought and awareness and illustrates that the squirrels know when they will need certain nuts more than others.
We already know that squirrels will store and bury their food in different places. This means they have one hiding place for walnuts, one for hazelnuts, one for pecans, and so on. They don’t mix and match, and they always manage to remember where their hiding places are. One of the reasons for this is that, because they have so many different places to store their food, they don’t have to worry about forgetting all the places. They increase the likelihood of finding at least one storage location.
We bet you didn’t know that squirrels can stockpile as many as ten thousand nuts every year! They have shown the ability to be able to store their nuts in the right locations, as well as storing differently depending on variety. Squirrels also possess the ability to plan for the future and make decisions now that will benefit them in the winter. The understand the difference in variety, size, and weight of nut, as well as what they need to store and what they can eat. Squirrels are smarter than you realize!