Squirrels are one of the coolest creatures on earth, and yet nobody talks about them. Today I am going to educate you on the many different types of squirrels, and things you may not know about the nutty animals.
First off, let me inform you on the basics of the squirrel. A squirrel is a mammal, just like us, and is a rodent (similar to a mouse). A squirrel’s diet consists of both meat and plants, meaning it is classified as an omnivore. Squirrels can sometimes be mistaken as herbivores because of their plant based diet, but this is only because there aren’t a ton of animals for a squirrel to hunt, and squirrels get plenty of protein from nuts. Squirrels have an average lifespan of 2-5 years, with larger species tending to live longer. These rodents can vary in size from about 8-70cm long, and can weigh from 10 g to 8 kg. The squirrel has adapted to a wide range of habitat around the globe. This means tropical rainforests, to urban areas.
Now that you know the basics about our furry little friends, it’s time to dive into some amazing facts about squirrels.
- There are over 265 species of squirrel worldwide
- The African pygmy squirrel is the smallest (10cm long)
- The Indian giant squirrel is the largest (3ft long)
- Squirrels are a very trusting species, and are one of the few that will eat out of a human hand
- Squirrels run in a zigzag pattern to avoid predators
- Some squirrels will dig a fake food hole while birds are watching to trick those that are looking to steal the squirrel’s food
- Squirrels that live in trees make nests like birds that are the size of a football
- There are 44 species of flying squirrel. Every one of these do not actually fly but they glide with webbed skin from their wrists to their ankles
While squirrels may be looked at as pests to the majority of people. They have a lot going for them, and I have always been interested in the little guys (also the big ones!). I hope that the next time you see a squirrel hanging out by a pine tree, you think about how interesting the Squirrel is.
“Squirrel.” Amazing Facts about Squirrels | OneKind. Web. 15 June 2015. .