Those Sneaky Squirrels Bury Non-Existent Nuts to Trick Rivals

Turns out squirrels are more devious than anyone realized:

To protect their winter food stocks from potential thieves, they put on an elaborate show of burying non-existent nuts and seeds, a study has shown.

Scientists say the fake burials are designed to confuse any rival squirrels, birds or humans who might be watching.

The level of deception has astonished animal experts who say it shows a rare form of animal cunning and intelligence.

Despite their intelligence, however, squirrels have yet to discover a way to foil The Catapult.


Previously on Neatorama:

- Squirrels Use "Snake Perfume" to Fool Predators
- Sugar Bush Squirrel For President!
- Squirrel's Secret Anti-Rattlesnake Weapon
- Spy Squirrels Caught by Iranians. Yes, Spy Squirrels.
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Squirrel

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This reminds me of a lady I used to work with. It was an evening shift, so there weren't many people around at all, but when she would go on a break and leave the department, she would pull the door to our lab shut and pretend she was locking it, in case someone was watching. I was the only one on that shift who had a key, and it wasn't necessary to lock the place, but she was always afraid someone was plotting to steal the computers or get into "the system" (her words). This was 1994, in the graphics department for a label printer. We didn't have people trying to sneak in to grab our files, so it was pretty silly to say the least.

Not sure if it was the sneaky behavior of the squirrels that reminded me of her, or the nuts. She was (is!) a little of both.
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