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Can other animals plan ahead? © iStock

Can other animals plan ahead?

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To-do lists, calendars and diaries? Maybe not, but these animals are getting organised...

Asked by: Peter Moore, Banbridge


You could argue that a squirrel is planning for the winter months, when it buries nuts in the ground, but does the squirrel actually know why it is doing this, or is it just a hard-wired behaviour? These things are hard to test, but experiments with scrub jays have shown that they will stash food in places where they expect to be hungry the next day. And a chimpanzee called Santino at a zoo in Sweden has learned to hide piles of stones in advance so that he will be able to ambush human onlookers and pelt them.


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luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.


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