Tuesday, January 31, 2017

mini mystery ...

I found these tracks in the fresh snow when I got home from work tonight.
 A deliberate dive under the snow!
 I think maybe a vole?
An interesting note to the Wikipedia article: 

A recent study into the behavior of voles, Microtus ochrogaster specifically, found that voles comfort each other when mistreated, spending more time grooming a mistreated vole. Voles that were not mistreated had levels of stress hormones that were similar to the voles that had been mistreated, suggesting that the voles were capable of empathizing with each other. 

This type of empathetic behavior has previously been thought to only occur in animals with advanced cognition, such as humans, apes, and elephants.

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