Squirrels Use Snake Eau de Cologne

Animal behaviorists have observed California ground squirrels and rock squirrels chewing up rattlesnake skin and smearing it on their fur to mask their scent from predators.

Reporting their observations in the journal Animal Behavior, the researchers noted that adult female squirrels and juveniles apply snake scent more often than adult males, which are less vulnerable to predation by snakes. “The scent probably helps to mask the squirrel’s own scent, especially when the animals are asleep in their burrows at night, or to persuade a snake that another snake is in the burrow,” said researcher Barbara Clucas, from the University of California – Davis.

The squirrels are not limited to the use of shed snake skins, added co-researcher Donald Owings. “They also pick up snake odor from soil and other surfaces on which snakes have been resting, and use that to apply scent. Other rodents have been observed using similar behavior,” he explained.

In earlier work, Owings’ lab had found that squirrels can also heat up their tails to send a warning signal to rattlesnakes (which can “see” in the infrared); assess how dangerous a particular snake is based on the sound of its rattle; and display assertive behavior against snakes to deter attacks. “It’s a nice example of the opportunism of animals,” Owings said. “They’re turning the tables on the snake.”

Related:
Global Warming Causes Genetic Changes
Basic Instinct Not So Basic After All

Source: University of California – Davis

, ,

Comments are closed.
DEADPOOL GLI SUPPMER FUN SPECTACULAR, SQUIRREL GIRL, ONE SHOT
$8.97 DEADPOOL GLI SUPPMER FUN SPECTACULAR, SQUIRREL GIRL, ONE SHOT picture
Cold lunch bag A Squirrel Garden Disney KGA1
$28.45 Cold lunch bag A Squirrel Garden Disney KGA1 picture
American Greetings Daughter 2005 Discman Squirrel Christmas Ornament
$18.25 American Greetings Daughter 2005 Discman Squirrel Christmas Ornament picture
Sword Art Online Alicization 02 Ki Rito & Eugeo & A Squirrel Deca Ki ...
$24.11 Sword Art Online Alicization 02 Ki Rito & Eugeo & A Squirrel Deca Ki ... picture
figma.SP048 Persona 4 The Arte Immet in Mayonaka Arena Rabbi Squirrel
$108.72 figma.SP048 Persona 4 The Arte Immet in Mayonaka Arena Rabbi Squirrel picture

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes