The squirrel (plural: squirrels) is a rodent animal that lives mostly in trees. It has a thick and large tail, wide black eyes, and round ears. Most of its species are graceful animals, with long and thick hairy tails. However, many types of squirrels do not climb trees, and they have short tails. The latter are called ground squirrels, and they include all of the sednani, marmots, and prairie dogs. Squirrels are found in continental Asia, Europe and America. It is also found in Africa, but with different strains. It feeds on nuts, hazelnuts, acorns, and fruits, and also eats nest eggs and bird chicks. It is prey for birds of prey, snakes and foxes. Among the distinctive types of squirrels:
Striped ground squirrel
One of the characteristics that some types of squirrels are famous for is the collection of nuts and nuts, and storing them for the winter inside trees or by burying them in the ground. Research has shown that squirrels have a strong memory of where nuts and acorns are kept.
Squirrels live in tree holes; However, they build special nests of branches covered with leaves. In the northern hemisphere, squirrels build sturdy nests for the winter. These nests are built with dry leaves and small tree bark remnants. It may be used in building sometimes lichen, and dry grass. Thus, the overall structure of the nest becomes warm and weatherproof. Perhaps a group of squirrels used one nest in the winter; In the summer, it may make a temporary nest, consisting only of a scattering of twigs and leaves. Squirrels live all over the world except for the regions of Australia, Madagascar, and the southern part of South America. Perhaps the smallest species of squirrel is the African dwarf squirrel, which is found in West Africa, and weighs approximately 15 grams, reaches 8 cm in length and has a 5 cm long tail. While the giant Asian squirrels include the largest types of squirrels; Each one is 85 cm long, including the tail.
Tree squirrels are very alert and active animals, unlike most other rodents, and are mainly active during daylight hours. They are also very noisy and yell at each other with loud cries, whistles, and annoying sounds. These behavioral manifestations are often associated with defending territory or food sources. These squirrels have strong and sharp claws, and the joints of both the wrist and ankle are flexible to a large degree. They can walk clinging to the bottom of tree branches in order to reach food. They also descend from the tree trunk quickly in running, and jump from one branch to another, using their thick tail to maintain their balance.
In the winter in Europe, which is the time of cohabitation, the male enters the female’s territory – where each of them usually lives alone – and jumps in front of her and dances in acrobatic movements to lure her. This dancing and jumping takes several days until the female agrees to cohabitation. The couple stays together for several weeks, and after 38 days it is time to give birth, so the female expels the male and does not allow him to stay in her area. The female gives birth to two to seven young, and they are born closed-eyed for a while.
The squirrel is characterized by the ability to plan, collect and store food, and does so actively. An individual collects about 2,000 hazelnuts and pine cones and hides them in about 100 warehouses. The mother raises the young until they reach the age of ten weeks. When spring comes, you are ready to conceive again. Naturally, the mother does not find all her food storage caches, but in the spring the emergence of new plants helps her.