Super-Smart Squirrels Show Off Their Astonishing Problem Solving Skills

Researchers set up an adorable obstacle course for squirrels, testing their problem-solving skills. The rodents were eventually able to tackle the problem and treated themselves to the nutty reward.

Researchers wanted to know how persistent squirrels are when faced with a challenge, so they created an obstacle course with a pile of hazelnuts at the end in order to test how tenacious the little rodents really are. They set up a series of platforms, some stationary and others loaded with springs, then sat back to film the results.

At first, the rodents gave up after a few failed tries, but other squirrels felt the lure of the prize worthy of noodling out the problem. Combining their grip, persistence, memory, and problem-solving skills, these squirrels ultimately realized that they could use a single jump to the bouncy red platforms combined with two steps on the stationary blue ones to steady themselves. Using this pattern, they were able to make it across the obstacle course and to the prize at the end — a hearty hazelnut dinner.