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April 06, 2008

Making friends in the squirrel world

Squirrel from the movie Hoodwinked

If you spend endless hours tweaking your Facebook and Linked-in contacts, it turns out you have a lot in common with squirrels. According to an article in the April issue of the journal Animal Behavior, Columbian ground squirrels (a common squirrel species in the American and Canadian west) develop complex webs of friends, friends of friends, friends of friends of friends, etc.

Just as is the case with groups of human friends, there are certain individual squirrels who are natural connectors...associating with lots of others in the group. And just like what happens all too often with human cliques, the popular squirrels spend most of their time hanging with the other popular squirrels.

There are layman-friendly write-ups of the research on the New Scientist and Discovery Channel websites.

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Posted by Chris Spurgeon at April 6, 2008 09:48 PM

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