How smart are squirrels?

Squirrels are pretty cute, most people love them because of the long bushy tails and try to feed them nuts at the park. But the fact is that squirrels aren’t just furry little woodland creatures, they are actually extremely intelligent.

Their bushy tails serve various functions. One of them is to balance themselves as they scurry rapidly from branch to branch or high ledges, but squirrels are also highly communicative creatures. They also use them as a signaling device, to let other squirrels know if there’s danger or if they should back off. They also communicate through a series of vocalizations, which to us sound like random squeaks, and use scent markings to let other squirrels in the vicinity know what is going on.

Although squirrels are very trusting, have very keen noses and can sense danger easily. When this happens, they will look for a tree to climb, and press themselves against the bark to minimize the risk or detection.

They can live in any weather, in every part of the world. There are over 200 species of squirrels, and each of them adapts amazingly to their environment. In cold places like Canada or Europe, squirrels actually plan ahead to the winter months, storing seeds and nuts, and putting on the extra weight they will need to get through the cold.

They are also incredibly cunning when it comes to storing food. Some squirrels bury their nuts and seeds in the ground for storage, and 8 out of 10 times, they will remember where they stashed their food, weeks after they buried it. They also like to deceive their fellow squirrels and other animals who might want to steal their food, by staging fake food burials. They will make a whole display of burying food, while secretly hiding the seeds to be safely stored underground when all the other animals are busy looking at the first burial site.

They build their nests in trees, and can adapt to almost any environment. That’s why, even in extremely urbanized areas, where almost all original wildlife has been wiped out or moved to more secluded areas, squirrels can still be seen by the dozens, foraging for seeds, nuts and even pizza crusts.

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