Squirrel – rodent with bushy tail
Squirrels are cute rodents with long bushy tails. The squirrel family also includes groundhogs, prairie dogs, and chipmunks.
Squirrels live on all continents except Australia and Antarctica. They also do not live in Madagascar, New Guinea and New Zealand.
Tree squirrels live in trees and are active year-round. Ground squirrels live in burrows and hibernate in winter.
These animals are about 10 centimeters long. The color varies from black through red, brown, and grey.
The African pygmy squirrels are the smallest (2.5 cm) and the giant squirrels of Asia are 90 centimeters long and weigh 3 kilograms.
Flying squirrels can glide through the air by leaping and then spreading out the flaps of skin that connect their front and hind legs. They are nocturnal animals. They nest in cavities in trees.
Squirrels use four large front teeth for gnawing. Their teeth grow throughout the animal’s life. They eat mostly plants, including berries and tree bark, seeds and nuts. Some species, however, feed on insects, bird eggs, and nestlings.
Some squirrels are hunted for their fur and meat.
– To survive the winter one squirrel needs about 3000 nuts.
– They are born with already well-developed claws, but completely blind.
– The animals are solitary, but in winter to survive the cold weather from 3 to 6 individuals live in a hollow or nest.
– In the wild they live up to 6-8 years, while in captivity they can live up to 10-12 years.
– It can collect more than 100 cones per day.
– This animal can swim well but will drown when its tail becomes wet.
– There is an image of a squirrel gnawing a nut on the national currency of Belarus.
– Raccoons, snakes and owls are their main enemies.
– Squirrel is a symbol of patience and thrifty. In Japan it is a symbol of fertility.