Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Male squirrels caught napping in new study that finds their female counterparts do most of the work

The males may spend time above ground ‘simply to loaf or bask in the sun’

Ian Johnston Science Correspondent
Tuesday 4 October 2016

The males appear to spend hours loafing around in the sun, while the females rush about, gathering supplies and looking after the kids.

Try as you might, it’s hard not to draw comparisons between a new study about the lives of Arctic ground squirrels and human beings.

Researchers fitted tracking devices to the squirrels to monitor their activity and found that the females tended to be significantly more active than the males – although the squirrel with the highest average activity level was male.

But he appears to have been very much out of step with most of his male friends, who were about half as energetic.

Writing in the Royal Society Open Science journal, the US researchers said: “For much of our study, we found that both sexes spent similar amounts of time above ground, but females were consistently more active.

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