My girlfriend and I were discussing squirrels and started to talk that perhaps eventually a race of super-squirrels would exist that are smart enough to not get hit by cars by ensuring there are no oncoming cars before crossing the street. Now, such a trait wouldn’t be the result of a genetic deformation but rather a learned skill (to look both ways before crossing the street). Can such a trait “evolve,” that is, be passed down genetically?
It seems to me it would have to be taught from one squirrel to another, rather than naturally evolve, and since I don’t think squirrels are big on teaching their kids how to survive, it seems unlikely that this would ever happen. Can mental concepts such as this be applicable to evolution? On a related note, is this question similar to the concept of “natural instincts”?