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Why Do Dogs Bury Bones?


Domestic dogs retain many of the habits of their wild ancestors. One is the tendency to bury bones, a holdover from the instinctive urge of many species to store food.

A red fox with more food than it can eat will dig a hole and bury the surplus for later use. The Arctic fox, which has to cope with worse winters than any other dog, frequently catches food during the summer months, then retrieves its hoard when the hard times of winter hit.

Oddest of all is the pampas fox of South America. It piles up all sorts of inedibles, from twigs to bits of cloth, and stores them away like a pack rat, a strange habit that no one has been able to explain.

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