Squirrels as natural scatter-hoarders may have a thing or two to teach us. It’s no secret that they are smart. Not only do they flaunt their ability to conquer obstacles through sheer athleticism to get to our backyard bird feeders, but the scientists also discovered that they can sort various kinds of nuts by utilizing the method known as “chunking”. Chunking is how various items could be put into major groups, if one is so motivated, for later retrieval.
Royal Society’s scientific study abstract starts like this:
Scatter-hoarding animals face the task of maximizing retrieval of their scattered food caches while minimizing loss […]
According to science.org,
We might take it for granted, but organizing large diverse sets into smaller subsets makes finding what you’re looking for easier. Now, it turns out that fox squirrels employ a similar method of categorization—known as “chunking”—to sort their nuts. Similar to how a bookstore might have fiction, nonfiction, poetry, etc., a new study in Royal Society Open Science shows that squirrels who foraged in a single location deliberately bury nuts of similar type together, separating all the almonds from the pecans, for example. Squirrels that foraged in multiple locations, however, employed a simpler method of organization, always burying nuts in new areas irrespective of type, Popular Science reports. […]
The above is based on the National Button Society's Classification System.
WRBA Button Album encourages discussions across various button groups, in-person or online. Please reach out to us with additional information or suggestions.