Squirrel is one of the cutest animals on this planet. But there are very few facts which we know about them. This article will try to give you some insights about this wonderful animal.
The word “Squirrel” comes from the Greek word Skiouros which means shadow tail. They belong to the order rodentia. Click here to know more about orders of class mammalia.
They are found naturally in every continent except Australia (now introduced by humans) and Antarctica. Usually they live in trees and the holes created by the trunk.
Like all other members of the rodent family they have a large incisor which never stop growing through out their life.
Squirrels have a special liking for nuts. Apart from nuts they also like to eat small insects, leaves, tree bark, roots etc.
There are 200 species of squirrel around the world. Among all African pigmy squirrel is the smallest. The full height of the species is 10 centimeter only and can weight just 10 gm. The largest squirrel is the Alpine Marmot which can reach up to 73 centimeter and can weights 5 to 8 kilos.
Being a mammal they have sweat glands but those are present only in their feet.
They have strong and long muscular hind legs and small front leg. The hind legs help them to jump up to a distance of 20 feet.They have 5 toes in their back feet but only four on their front. Their thumbs have not developed properly and the paws have padding (like cats) inside.
While falling from a height they use their tail both as balance and as a parachute.
They show camaraderie while living in a group. This feature is prominent if a group comes under any type of danger. They produce alarming sound to the group to alert them from possible danger.
The outer coating of a squirrel is filled with soft and silky fur. This is one of the reasons why they appear so cute to us. They also have a very large (compared to their body size) eye. This justifies their excellent vision which is very essential for tree living.
They have a gestation period of 44 days. Baby squirrels are blind at the time of birth.
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