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How smart are squirrels?

If you have ever seen a squirrel scurrying around your property, you have probably thought how obsessive these animals can be at times. They spend a large number of their waking hours trying to find every possible food source that they can, then storing the items that they discover to prepare themselves for the long winter that is ahead.

It is a truly remarkable process that these animals go through every year. While not true hibernators in every sense of the word, the squirrels will enter into a den in the wintertime and remain there, for the most part, during the coldest months of the year waiting for it to become warm enough. While they sit and wait for this to occur, they feed off of all of that food that they have stored, and emerge ready to begin the process all over again it is truly remarkable.

Watching all this may make you wonder how smart squirrels are? It seems so amazing that they would be able to go to this process and be able to create a life for themselves that insured that they had the right amount of food available for them each and every year. Boy, they must really be smart!

The question is if this is really about intelligence? Are squirrels doing this because they consciously are thinking that they need to store their food to be able to survive. As they go around looking for things have they developed a list in their head of exactly what they are looking for, like a person may create a shopping list before they head to the grocery store?

The answer to these questions is obviously no. Squirrels are not wise enough in any way to be able to create a list of items that they intend to search for. They are simply coming across areas where they know that there is food and they are taking whatever is available, which is not perishable, back to their areas where they are storing food to prepare themselves for the winter.

What may be confused as intelligence actually has to do more with the instinctual design of these animals. Squirrels have a natural intelligence about them that helps them to create a scenario where they are able to survive and thrive year after year. It is not about reasoning, but about a special kind of intelligence that instinctually helps them.

For example, a squirrel somehow knows that it is imperative for their survival that they actually create several different locations where they store food during the summer. You would think that if a squirrel was actually going to spend its winter in a specific den that it would simply store all its food up there. However, the animal is intelligent enough to know that there could be a circumstance where its den may be breached by a predator, and so it pays to have other options available so it can find food.

Has it ever had to do this before? Not necessarily, but it somehow knows how to do so. There is a special instinct about virtually everything that this animal does that helps it to know things that maybe it really shouldn’t. Read more: Squirrel Control, How to Get Rid of Squirrels, how to get squirrels out of your attic, Squirrel Feces, How to Keep Squirrels Away from House, How to Kill Squirrels.

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