Squirrels are nimble, bushy-tailed rodents. More than 200 squirrel species live all over the world, with the notable exception of Australia. The tiniest squirrel is the aptly named African pygmy squirrel—only five inches (thirteen centimeters) long from nose to tail. The Indian giant squirrel is three feet (almost a meter) long.
Fast facts about Squirrels
1. Squirrels are very trusting animals, and are of the very few wild animal species which will eat out of a person’s hand.
2. Squirrels are extremely intelligent creatures. They are known to put on squielaborate bogus food burying displays to deceive onlookers. The fake burials are to trick potential thieves, such as other squirrels or birds, into thinking that they have stored their food stock there. Any observers planning on taking the stash will then focus on the bogus burial site, allowing the squirrel to bury the real stash elsewhere safely.
3. Ground squirrels eat nuts, leaves, roots, seeds, and other plants. They also catch and eat small animals, such as insects and caterpillars.
4. Squirrels tend to run in erratic paths. This is intended to deceive potential predators as to its chosen direction so that it may escape.
5. Tree squirrels are commonly seen everywhere from woodlands to city parks. Though they are terrific climbers, these squirrels do come to the ground in search of fare such as nuts, acorns, berries, and flowers. They also eat bark, eggs, or baby birds.
6. There are 44 species of ‘flying squirrel’. They live like birds do, in nests or tree holes, and although they do not fly, they can really move across the sky. Rather than actually flying, these species glide using a membrane which stretches from their wrists to their ankles. It allows squirrels to glide naturally like humans do with the aid of a parachute.
7. Squirrels communicate with each other through various vocalisations and scent marking. They also use their tails as a signalling device, twitching it when uneasy to alert other squirrels of potential danger.
8. A squirrel’s front teeth never stop growing.
9. Squirrels are born blind. A newborn squirrel is only about an inch long.
10. Lifespan of a Squirrel depends on it species. Records for maximum life span are 12 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity.