Not just nuts: The surprising stuff animals hoard for winter
Animals have surprising ways of storing food, including becoming living kegs.
Autumn is here, and a lot of animals are gathering foods to store up for winter. This includes humans, who hoard “pumpkin spice” items for the bleak, gourdless summer.
Animals like chipmunks and squirrels usually come to mind when we think of stockpiling food, but we wondered which other animals hoard, or cache, stockpiles of food before winter sets in.
We found a few surprises, from head-biting moles to jerky-making ants.
All five species of short-tailed shrews have the same strategy for making sure their stored food doesn’t go bad. They keep it alive.
These shrews usually prey on insect larvae. The shrews’ saliva is toxic, “so when they bite down, a toxin is injected and the animal becomes paralyzed,” says biologist Elmer