Animals

Squirrel | Amazing facts

Squirrel Amazing Facts 4u

35  Amazing Squirrel Facts | Amazing Facts 4U

  1. The squirrel is the Native American symbol for preparation, trust and thriftiness.
  2. Squirrels are members of the family Sciuridae, consisting of small or medium-size rodents.
  3. Squirrels live on every continent except in Australia and Antarctica.
  4. Amazing fact is that they have been around for more than 35 million years.
  5. There are over 265 species of squirrel worldwide. The smallest is the African pygmy squirrel which is tiny at around 10 cm long, whereas the largest, the Indian giant squirrel is a massive three feet long.
  6. Grey squirrels, commonly found in North America, are medium-size squirrels.
  7. Squirrels are categorized into three types: tree squirrels, ground squirrels and flying squirrels.
  8. There are 44 species of ‘flying squirrel’. Amazingly 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 up to 250 feet , making it look like they can fly.
  9. A group of squirrels are called a scurry or dray. They are very territorial and will fight to the death to defend their area. Mother squirrels are the most vicious when defending their babies.
  10. Squirrels are omnivores, which means they like to eat plants and meat. Squirrels mainly eat fungi, seeds, nuts and fruits, but they will also munch on eggs, small insects, caterpillars, small animals and even young snakes.
  11. A female carries her young for a gestation period of 33 to 46 weeks and gives birth to two to eight offspring at one time. Babies are called kits or kittens and are born toothless and blind. They depend on their mothers for around two or three months.
  12. The male squirrels are rather bad parents, as they play no role in raising the young ones. The mothers take complete care of them for a couple of months.
  13. The lifespan of a squirrel is usually 5 to 10 years in the wild but most die in the first year of life as they have a lot of predators hunting for them.
  14. A squirrel has a very large appetite. In a week’s time, it eats a quantity of food that is almost equal to its body weight.
  15. Squirrel’s have an excellent sense of vision and it can sense danger very fast. However, they have trouble seeing things that are directly in front of them due to side eyes.
  16. Squirrels have four teeth in the front of their mouth that constantly grow throughout their lives. This ensures that their teeth don’t wear down from gnawing on nuts and other objects.
  17. Ever wondered why squirrels eat fruits before they are even ripe? Well, squirrels are color blind and can’t differentiate between the colors green and red!
  18. The males are the cleanest in the rodent family. They take up a lot of time grooming themselves, unlike their female counterparts.
  19. Ground squirrels aren’t only capable of climbing over fences, they’re also accomplished diggers. The squirrels’ tunnels can in fact exceed 9 meters (30 ft) in length.
  20. Squirrel can jump up to 10 times their body length. They have long, muscular hind legs and short front legs that work together to aid in leaping. Padded feet can cushion fall even from a height of 100 feet.
  21. Their eyes are high on their head and placed on each side of the head so they have wide angle of vision  without having to turn their head.
  22. Amazing fact is that unlike most mammals, Tree squirrels can descend a tree head-first. They do so by rotating their ankles 180 degrees so the hind paws are backward-pointing and can grip the tree bark.
  23. They have bushy tails which enables them to balance among the branches of trees while looking for food.
  24. Squirrels are great runners running  at 20 mph (32 kph).
  25. When a squirrel is scared and feels that it is in danger, it will at first remain motionless. If it is on the ground, it will run to a nearby tree and climb to safety, and if it is already in a tree it will circle the trunk and press up against the bark tightly with its body.
  26. Squirrels are very trusting animals, and are of the very few wild animal species which will eat out of a person’s hand.
  27. Take care while feeding them as  they have eyes at sides so they don’t see what’s at the tip of their nose. As they can’t see your fingers , they might accidentally bit you if you get too close.
  28. In colder regions such as the UK, squirrels plan ahead in order to survive the challenging winter months. They store nuts and seeds at various locations and return to them throughout the winter to maintain their energy levels when food is scarce.
  29. Wondering how the squirrel finds its way back to the buried food?  They  lick or rub it on their face, before burying it. This leaves a scent which allows the squirrel to find it again after the winters are over.
  30. Squirrels tend to run in erratic paths. This is intended to deceive potential predators as to its chosen direction so that it may escape.
  31. Squirrels are extremely intelligent creatures. They are known to put on elaborate 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.
  32. Tree-dwelling squirrels such as the grey squirrel build dreys (similar to bird’s nests) made of twigs high in trees. They are about the size of a football and are lined with grass, bark, moss and feathers for added comfort and insulation.
  33. 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.
  34. Amazingly Squirrels can spread bubonic plague just like rats do via fleas.
  35. In 1963, the city of Longview, Washington , had to find a solution to squirrels getting killed trying to cross a busy highway. A kindhearted local offered to build a 18 meter (60 ft) long bridge above the road for free which was named Nutty Narrows. It  turned the town into the squirrel-lovers’ capital of America. The city now holds an annual Squirrel Fest. Other three bridges have now been installed.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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