With over 200 species of squirrels to pick from it is hard to focus on just one but I will do my best to stay focused on the commonly known squirrels (even chipmunks are under the “squirrel” category).
- Tree Squirrels
- Red Squirrels
- Flying Squirrels
With long, sharp claws a tree squirrel is perfectly created for its seemingly dangerous environment. Living almost entirely in the trees (some species stay on the ground), the tree squirrel can jump from branch to branch easily by just tightening his grip.
With these finely tuned limbs and claws the tree squirrel can speedily go up and down a tree, headfirst! With this valuable asset it can easily avoid most predators.
These squirrels will sometimes eat eggs, carrion and newly hatched birds!
If you have seen a squirrel it is most likely that the kind you have seen is either an red squirrel or a gray squirrel. Although gray squirrels now live in cities and neighborhoods often red squirrels still abode in their humble forests.
Even though many people find red squirrels to be a nuisance in the woods and surrounding their homes they are, nevertheless, a very strong asset in their environment.
When faced with danger the red squirrel will emit a high-pitched squeak that will warn other animals and squirrels about impending danger. These squirrels have even been known to fake charge a predator in order to scare it off!
But these squirrels aren’t all warning others of danger, sometimes they are the danger, reports have found that red squirrels can/will kill eat other squirrels, mice, adult birds and rabbits! So much for them warning others of danger!
Despite their “squirrel-y” nature flying squirrels are actually different in many aspects. The normal squirrel has these aspects,
- Day workers
- Forage on the ground often
- Jump from branch to branch
Flying squirrels, on the other hand,
- Night workers
- Try to stay in trees
- Glide from branch to branch
Even though this particular group of squirrels have the title “flying” they really don’t do that.
When a flying squirrel jumps from the tree it is on it will spread its back and front legs to stretch a membrane between the four legs. This parachute of sorts will allow the squirrel to easily land and escape predators that might be more grounded. In essence, a flying squirrel cannot flap its’ “wings” and take off. Nope, they just glide!
With these squirrels roaming the planet not only do awe in their amazing, simple yet complex bodies and attitudes, but we also stare in wonder at how such a little clawed animal can change so many things!