Bruno Time Allocation - Time Allocation of Eastern Grey...

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Time Allocation of Eastern Grey Squirrel ( Sciurus carolinensis ) Bruno Torres Biology 201, 11o’clock May 18, 2009 Introduction The Eastern Grey Squirrel is native to the deciduous forests of North America and is one of the most prolific animal species. This species has also successfully adapted itself to the suburban environment created by the outward-moving human population. The squirrel moves in a plentigrade fashion—when it steps, the entire sole of the foot touches the ground (Linzey). They prefer to spend their time in an arboreal environment and actually move from area to area through the tree tops (Britannica). The grey squirrel is diurnal and is an omnivore. They will eat nuts, fruits, insects, flower nectar, leaves, seeds, flower buds, bird eggs, and carrion. Sometimes they will even kill and eat other squirrels, birds, and mice (Britannica). A study showed that during the winter, squirrels will also eat insect larvae such as those found in goldenrod galls (Shealer et al.). Their widely varied diet is what has helped them adapt so readily to the constantly encroaching human presence. Time allocation is an important part of ethology. Time is the most precious resource that any organism has because every action costs time. Animals have to partition their time in order to maximize their reproductive potential and success. Many have developed particular behaviors to help them economize their time. To a certain degree, an animal’s repertoire is dictated by the types of environmental pressures it faces as well as the time restraints placed on it. Animals that are exclusively diurnal or nocturnal have those sorts of time restraints. With the help of a time allocation, researchers can familiarize themselves with the
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Bruno Time Allocation - Time Allocation of Eastern Grey...

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