Squirrels can solve mazes: quickly

Reader Michael: sent this video of a squirrel faced with a maze that has only one way to the nut reward at the end. This is from the BBC television show “The Super Squirrels”, which you can watch here (but only if you’re in the UK).  The observers conclude that at least this squirrel learns the maze after one try.  I told you they were awesome!

7 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    No surprise given being selected for a life in trees.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      And that they bury food which they later need to be able to find.

  2. Posted July 18, 2018 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    There is a reason why those so-called squirrel-proof bird feeders never work.

  3. Joe Dickinson
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    My son, who studied animal behavior, pointed out to me the futility of trying to compare “intelligence” across species. We expect each kind of animal to be good at tasks that matter to them given their lifestyle and that were important in shaping their evolution. Finding and remembering paths through a complex three dimensional network clearly matters to squirrels.

  4. Jenny Haniver
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I seem to recall a post a few days ago that had a tweet containing a video of a cat going quite rapidly through a cardboard maze that seemed pretty daunting to me. If the video was unedited, I don’t believe the cat made one false turn. And it didn’t even get any kitty treats at the end. We humans, so good at solving complex things involving the more evolved parts of our brains, must leave trails so once we find our way to the end, if we ever do, we can then return easily; but some are so befuddled that they must mystify and sacralize them. Others so love losing themselves in mazes that they’ve turned “walking the maze” into a meditative activity — not passing judgement on maze walking, just making an observation.

  5. Posted July 18, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I wonder how much of the maze was spatial, seeing where various paths lead, versus just following the strongest scent of food.

  6. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    A go nuts maze.


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