Red squirrel Facts
|Size||5.9 - 7.8 inch (15 - 20 cm)|
|Speed||Up to 15.5 mph (25 km/h)|
|Weight||7 - 14.1 oz (200 - 400 g)|
|Lifespan||2 - 8 years|
|Food||Nuts, seeds, acorns, berries, eggs, young birds|
|Predators||Snakes, weasels, eagles, hawks|
|Habitat||Europe, Asia, Africa, America|
|Scientific name||Sciurus vulgaris|
|Characteristics||Tufted ears during the winter, bushy tail|
Tree Squirrels, Ground Squirrels, Flying Squirrels ...
In Europe we primarily know the squirrel that is briskly running up and down trees and collecting nuts. Yet, the squirrel family has more members than most people think.
There are about 280 species of squirrels, ranging from giant squirrels to dwarf squirrels. By the way: Ground squirrels also include marmots, prairie dogs and antelope squirrels.
The bushy tail of the squirrel can be up to 9.8 inch (25 cm) long and serves as a control vane. While the squirrel is hopping from branch to branch it can correct its “flight path” with its tail.
Why Do Squirrels Dig Up Our Garden?
Squirrels do not hibernate. They need food every day to survive. This is the reason why they hide lots of nuts and seeds in the ground during autumn.
Where Did I Hide This Beautiful Hazelnut Yesterday?
Squirrels are said to often forget the locations where they have buried their “treasures”. Some of them develop into tree sprouts in springtime. This is true, but the squirrels still find enough of their seeds again in order not to starve.
Scientist Dr Peg Halloran tells us how squirrels find their food again: 1. by its smell, 2. by marking the spot, 3. by using their excellent memory. It is said that squirrels have a good memory, but it is more likely that they use their sense of smell.
Sweet little eyes and a soft fur – we simply have to love squirrels! Do we? Anyway, you should know that they are little thieves and no tame pets. From time to time they like to loot birds’ nests, eat the eggs and the little nestlings.
The Squirrel Brain
The brain of a squirrel is just as big as a walnut.
Squirrels usually mate at the end of January and the beginning of February. After 38 days, between one and six squirrel babies come into the world, naked, deaf and blind.
After about four more weeks they open their eyes and leave their nest for the first time after six weeks.
- Watch now on animalfunfacts.net:
- Video: All About Hibernation - what do squirrels do during winter?
Pupils are welcome to use this information at school for essays, presentations, posters or homework. All information appearing on this site has been precisely and thoroughly researched, nevertheless should you notice any errors, please do notify us via email.