Well, well, well. Looks like we got a bunch of lazy-ass squirrel bros eating all the nuts and basking in the sun while the lady squirrels run their tails off keeping everybody fed and herself lactating. Typical.
A study conducted by Cory Williams of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff involved putting a bunch of fitbits on some Alaskan rodents to deduce what women already know—we work a lot harder to keep the household going. The measurements are complicated, but they were essentially running tests on how much activity male and female squirrels were engaging in when above and below ground during mating and reproductive seasons. Turns out, when female squirrels are outside, they are working:
The difference in patterns occurs because females have higher mean daily ODBA (overall dynamic body acceleration) for a given amount of time spent above ground compared with males ... Examination of within-day variation in time spent above ground and ODBA revealed that, during early lactation, females make frequent forays below ground throughout the day, presumably to warm and nurse young... For much of our study, we found that both sexes spent similar amounts of time above ground, but females were consistently more active, as indicated by higher levels of ODBA.
She’s in and out, feeding the babies, grabbing some nuts, feeding the babies, grabbing the nuts. Um, sounds like a regular Tuesday, amirite ladies?
Scientists deduced that though male squirrels are out and about quite a lot themselves, they’re not necessarily doing anything, except maybe hanging with the guys:
This study indicates that male ground squirrels do not reduce their risk of predation outside of the mating season by spending more time below ground. However, it is not clear what these animals are doing while above ground, particularly given their ODBA is lower than females during gestation and late lactation. It is possible that time above ground serves some sort of social function, such as the establishment and/or persistence of territories... The additional time spent above ground may be simply to loaf/bask in the sun.
Ah, to live with the privilege of an entitled male squirrel.