Ideas

Brainiac

Big Data: Feeding the squirrels

samantha stamas/globe staff/ap

720: That’s the number of nuts that researchers gave to a group of 45 wild Eastern fox squirrels who lived on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. What happened next is the subject of a paper published in the latest issue of the Royal Society Open Science, which concludes that squirrels store nuts in clusters — walnuts with walnuts, almonds with almonds, etc. Since squirrels can bury up to 10,000 nuts per year, they’ve also developed mnemonic tricks to help them remember what’s hidden where, much like humans use Roy G Biv for the colors of the rainbow.

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Alex Kingsbury can be reached at alex.kingsbury@globe.com.