Watching the black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) move, arching their backs and lifting their front legs at the entrance to their burrows, it seems that they try to imitate the fans in a stadium. Perhaps this is also why scholars became curious. Certainly their behavior is of no use, especially if at that moment they are not playing their favorite team.
After spending months observing sixteen different groups of prairie dogs, the scientists from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg in Canada, managed to find a reason for this strange behavior. When one of these little rodents engages in the ola, he then goes in search of food.
The prairie dogs in photos GO TO GALLERY (N photo)
Are you careful?
The scholars have thus deduced that in all probability the strange dance is a way to test the rest of the members of the colony. A sort of test to understand how the other members of the group are attentive and alert to the possible appearance of unwanted predators.
If the reaction of others is positive, that is, if they show that they have noticed the mate's ola, for the "dancer" it means that it is time to feed without worrying too much about possible dangers: there are those who stand guard for him.
Theory of mind
This has led researchers to believe that even the prairie dog, like other animals, is able to understand, albeit in a rudimentary way, the mental state of the members of their group and that knowing how to recognize it is fundamental for their own survival.
The video of the Ola