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Squirrels guess the future of their food

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Squirrels may not be psychic as such, but they do know how plentiful food will be in the coming months, and give birth accordingly.  Not only that, but to try to outsmart the squirrels, trees use a boom-and-bust seed production strategy, trying to starve the squirrels in lean years so that even when they do overbreed, the trees will still survive.  "It's a little bit tougher when things are unpredictable like seed production years, but the squirrels obviously figured out a cue," said Stan Boutin, a University of Alberta biologist.  Given that us humans have trouble figuring out the seeding cycle, we would do well to observe the squirrel population more closely.  [GT]

Squirrels are great gamblers on nature's unpredictable seeding seasons

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December 29, 2006 in Outdoors & games | Permalink

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