we can learn a lot from squirrels

by on Oct.26, 2010, under learning, super serious time

So Miki had this really great idea the other day about blogging about interesting animal facts.  She wanted to write about the cockroach who can survive 10 days with his head cut off and only dies of starvation after that.  Gross, but true.  I, on the other hand, am going with the altruistic ground squirrel - the idea of altruism among animals doesn’t lend itself to that animal actually surviving and thus reproducing, so it’s pretty darn interesting if you ask me. Not a cockroach, i know. 

Biologists recognize altrusim when an animal, like an alarm calling ground squirrel, sustains some cost to its present or future reproduction by aiding another animal.  The alarm calling squirrel risks attack by calling atention to itself while trying to warn his friends and family about an approaching predator.  Biologists are confused because the non-alarm-calling squirrels that benefit are the ones that reproduce more often but this altruistic technique never seems to fade among these lovely little creatures. 

watch out dummies!

I like squirrels because they’re cute AND because they sacrifice themselves to save their friends and families; something humans should probably do more often and don’t and we have hospitals and therapists.  Squirrels can’t go to the emergency room after being attaked by a hawk but still seem to try to save their homies nonetheless.


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