How Do Squirrels Cross the Road?
If you have ever noticed a squirrel running in front of a car, you may have wondered how it manages to do it. Apparently, this is a survival tactic. The animal runs zigzag to distract a potential predator and avoid detection by other cars. It also uses the terrain to run faster than a human and avoid being hit by a car. Here are some of the reasons why squirrels run in front of cars:
Animal’s survival instinct
The ‘fight or flight’ response is an instinctive, genetic response to stimuli. When an animal is in danger, its physiological response includes a variety of changes. Among them are increased respiration to provide more oxygen to muscles, increased heart rate, and the injection of adrenalin into the blood stream. This is all done to prepare it to fight for survival. Unfortunately, this response is not always appropriate.
It’s a survival tactic
Most people consider squirrels to be pests, as they dash in front of cars and chew on bird feeders. But did you know that squirrels were actually created by the Creator with resourcefulness and brilliant behaviors? We may be shocked to see them crossing the road, but it’s a survival tactic for the animals. Let’s take a look at how they do it.
Squirrels run in front of cars for a variety of reasons, including avoiding predators, preventing injury, or crossing the road without hitting an object. This is a survival strategy because they do not have the benefit of a vehicle’s radar. Moreover, they view automobiles as a potential predator, and they believe that they cannot run faster than a car. This is a clever escape technique for squirrels, but it often results in roadkill.
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Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.