Saturday, August 1, 2009
Squirrels watch others and learn
Many animals don’t learn anything from others, but a new study has shown that squirrels quickly learn by watching their peers. Dr Lisa Leaver of the University of Exeter and her colleagues tested grey squirrels ability to learn to choose between two pots of food after watching another squirrel remove a nut from one of the pots. One group was rewarded for targeting the other pot. Those that were rewarded for choosing food from the other pot learned quickly than those that were rewarded for choosing the same pot. This suggests that grey to recognize the absence of food.