The strongest evidence yet that animals plan ahead may come from western scrub jays preparing for their morning meals.
Plenty of animals perform actions that bring future benefits, but those activities don't necessarily demonstrate planning, says Nicola S. Clayton of the University of Cambridge in England. Smart moves may be just responses to cues, either innate or learned. Geese don't necessarily plan when they fly south as winter approaches. And a cat may have learned that the sound of a car in the driveway means food will soon appear in its bowl.