We developed an exercise for a university-level ecology class that teaches hypothesis testing by examining acorn preferences and caching behavior of tree squirrels (Sciurus spp.). This exercise is easily modified to teach concepts of behavioral ecology for earlier grades, particularly high school, and provides students with a theoretical basis for examining commonly observed squirrel behavior. Students gain experience in testing hypotheses and revising predictions. They evaluate how well predictions of competing hypotheses are supported by statistically analyzing and interpreting class data using t-tests and chi-square tests.

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