Sunday, December 12, 2010

Procrastination... in other animals?!

Scanning over the posts written by my peers, knowing full well I need to comment and do at least two more posts, I see a lot have taken up on this particular subject. We can all see procrastination in ourselves, but, that got me thinking... what about non-human animals? Do they procrastinate?

The immediate answer you come up with almost immediately is no. Be it google or asking person to person. However, I came across an interesting article that said something to the contrary. Kai Stinchcombe surmised that in squirrels, gathering nuts is a priority for winter. Do they procrastinate? Curiously, they point out that it depends on the definition of procrastination. They argue thus:

" "running out the clock by doing other stuff when you have long-term stuff to do" in which case, a squirrel chasing another squirrel around or whatever would probably be procrastinating."

Which was an interesting perspective to me. Granted, the research and observation in this outcome is questionable due to the source, it was interesting.


  1. That actually is pretty interesting. People don't take enough time out to figure out what animals really do with their time besides eat and sleep. I would never imagine an animal procrastinating, but maybe its true. I always felt like they so in tune with nature's clock that they do what they have to do when they have to do it. However, you see in animals such as chimps and orangutans that they play and socialize. So, maybe animals are more like us than we think.

  2. This is really interesting and I never thought about it until I read this post. They make a good point about animals having fun sometimes and chasing around other squirrels or climbing up trees. This also reminded me of the Geico commercial where the squirrels run across the highway on purpose to cause accidents for fun.