Film: Adaptive Behavior in Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels

Continuing our recent series of posts (here and here) on University of Oregon psychologist Lester Beck’s films, we bring one final film to your attention: Beck’s 1942 footage Adaptive Behavior in Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels (below). The film is described as follows,

Arranged and photographed by Lester F. Beck, a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Oregon. Beck also wrote the script for Human Growth, the first sex education film shown in Oregon schools in 1948. Filmed in part at Crater Lake, OR. Shows golden-mantled ground squirrels (which resemble, but are not, chipmunks) first at play in the wild, and then learning increasingly complicated tasks in a lab (coerced by nuts). Silent short full of unintentional humor and pathos. Was the basis for the popular educational film Squeak the Squirrel (1952).

The later film, Squeak the Squirrel (above),

Shows how a gold-mantled ground squirrel at Crater Lake National Park has learned to solve problems connected with getting food. Illustrates how an animal can learn to find food that is hidden from view or out of reach.

Happy viewing!

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.