Tricks that animals play

earthsky.org | 10/31/2018 | Deanna Conners
duck.ie (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://en.es-static.us/upl/2018/10/eastern-gray-squirrel-800-300x169.jpg

Eastern gray squirrel. Image credit: Fyn Kynd via Flickr.

On Halloween, children shout trick or treat hoping to score some candy. While this is all fun and games for us humans, for some animals, tricks are essential to their survival. Below, meet three animals that excel at playing tricks on others.

Eastern - Squirrel - Preparation - Winter - Squirrel

Eastern gray squirrel. In preparation for a long, cold winter, the eastern gray squirrel will gather up nuts and bury them in the ground where they can be dug up and consumed later when food is scarce. Scientists refer to this nut store as a cache, and a gray squirrel cache can be spread out over several acres. Unfortunately, these nuts are sometimes stolen by other squirrels and birds who witness a nut being buried. To combat the thievery, the eastern gray squirrel will often create a fake cache. It does so by digging a hole and filling it in without ever depositing a nut—a squirrel may do this several times before or after actually burying a nut. This trick is used to confuse the would-be thieves and protect their winter food supply.

Margay. Image credit: Malene Thyssen via Wikimedia.

Margay - Margay - Wildcat - Jungles - Central

Margay. The margay is a small wildcat that lives in the jungles of Central and South America. Scientists once observed a margay making vocalizations similar to a baby tamarin monkey, which piqued their interest because the cats are known to prey on tamarins. While this sound successfully attracted adult monkeys into the cat’s range, the cat did not catch a monkey that day. Still,...
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