chipmunk (Sciuridae) is an agile mammal Bushy-tailed rodent found throughout the world. They belong to the Sciuridae family, which includes prairie dogs, squirrels, and marmots.

Species

There are more than 200 species of squirrels, according to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), and they are classified into three types: tree squirrels, ground squirrels y flying squirrels. These three categories are divided into many types of squirrel.

Features

The squirrel has four teeth in the front of its mouth that grow constantly throughout its life. This ensures that your teeth don't get worn down from gnawing on nuts and other objects.

These little vertebrate rodents they have small and remarkable bodies. For example, a squirrel has padded feet that cushion jumps up to 6 feet long. Their eyes are high on the head and positioned on either side of the head so that they can see a great deal of their surroundings without having to turn their heads. They are also fantastic runners. Squirrels can run at 32 km / h.

The squirrel is a small rodent.
The squirrel is a small rodent.

Because there are so many types of squirrels, their size varies greatly. The smallest is the african pygmy squirrel. It grows 7 to 13 centimeters long and weighs only 10 grams. The Indian giant squirrel is the largest known squirrel in the world. It grows up to 1 meter long and weighs up to 1.8 kilograms.

Gray squirrels, commonly found in North America, are medium-sized squirrels. They grow up to 38.1 to 50.8 cm long, with their tails adding an additional 15.24 to 24.13 cm to their length. They typically weigh 0.45 to 0.68 kg.

Squirrels have four teeth in the front of their mouth that grow constantly throughout their lives. This ensures that your teeth don't get worn down from gnawing on nuts and other objects.

These rodents have small, remarkable bodies. For example, a squirrel has padded feet that cushion jumps up to 6 feet long. Their eyes are high on the head and positioned on either side of the head so that they can see a great deal of their surroundings without having to turn their heads. They are also fantastic runners. Squirrels can run at 32 mph.

gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is not just gray. It comes in a variety of colors, such as white, gray, brown, and black. These little squirrels are very good at planting trees. They bury their acorns, but forget where they put them. Forgotten acorns turn into oaks.

Behavior

A group of squirrels is called a herd. The squirrel nest is commonly called dray. They are very territorial and will fight to the death to defend their area. Mother squirrels are the most ruthless when defending their babies.

Some squirrels are twilight. This means that they are only active when dawn and sunset.

When it comes to other squirrels, tree squirrels are quite territorial, some more than others. For example, all squirrels have a piece of territory in an ecosystem, and when another squirrel enters that area, there are many reactions. For example, the squirrel can attack immediately, driving away the intruder. Another reaction is when the squirrel notices the other rodent, wagging its tail and growling. Lastly, the squirrel can let it hang around for a while before leaving, especially in winter when body heat is something to be thankful for.

We can appreciate the soft fur of this little rodent.
We can appreciate the soft fur of this little rodent.

Habitat

Tree squirrels typically live in wooded areas, as they prefer to live in trees. Ground squirrels live up to their names. They dig burrows, a system of underground tunnels to live. Some species also hibernate in burrows during the winter to keep warm.

Flying squirrels make their homes in tree holes or nests that are built in the branches of trees. To go from tree to tree or tree to ground, flying squirrels stretch the muscle membrane between their legs and body and glide through the air. They can glide up to 48m, making it look like they can fly.

Distribution

The distribution of these small rodents is very varied, so much so that they can be found in the lands from anywhere in the world except Antarctica and Australia.

Food

Squirrels typically eat about a little less than a pound of food per week. Many people think that squirrels only eat nuts, but this is not true as they are omnivorous animals, which means that they like to eat plants and meat. The squirrel's diet is mainly based on mushrooms, seeds, nuts and fruits, but they also eat eggs, small insects, Caterpillars, small animals and even snakes young boys.

To prepare for the cold months, the squirrels will bury their food. In the winter months they have a food store that they can eat when supplies are scarce.

The squirrel has a very varied diet.
The squirrel has a very varied diet.

Predators

Being a small rodent, they have many predators that threaten their lives. For example, the main predators are red foxes, wild cats, as well as domestic cats, domestic dogs, owls, The Eagles, the pine swallows and many others miscellaneous birds. Also, more predators are raccoons, wild cats, snakes, gray foxes y coyotes.

Defense

Although it may seem like there are many predators, squirrels are small and abundant, making them easy targets for carnivores. However, the squirrel is not exactly an "easy target." For example, when he realizes that danger is nearby, he quickly runs to a nearby tree and climbs, hiding in branches, or jumping from tree to tree. After all, they never stray too far from a tree when foraging for food on the ground. Furthermore, with their powerful hind legs, they can leap quite far, even more than twice the length of their body. For gray squirrels, blending into the bark of a tree is easy, and they can remain frozen, clinging to a tree for a long time until the danger has passed.

Other dangers and threats

Not all dangers are other animals. Many of the dangers are human creations and catastrophic events. For example, hurricanes, tornadoes and other catastrophes that bring down trees and could kill the little rodent. Additionally, humans also cut down trees, leaving these animals homeless.

Cars are the squirrel's deadliest enemy. Many squirrels are run over each year, and the number is only increasing. People blame the rodent for running outside in the first place. However, squirrels only know how to run away from predators, so as they try to reach their destination, the creature zigzags to confuse its predator. Unfortunately, as a result, the oncoming car has a hard time avoiding the squirrel, while other times the driver has a sick desire to run over the animal. Therefore, there are many dangers that the squirrel faces

Reproduction

A female carries her young for a gestation period of 29 to 65 days, depending on the size of the species; Smaller squirrels have shorter gestation periods, according to the University of Michigan Animal Diversity Network. Mothers give birth to two to eight young at a time. Babies are called kits or pups and are born blind. They are dependent on their mothers for two to three months.

After seven to eight weeks, the viviparous hatchlings they are weaned. When groups leave the nest, they do not travel more than 2 kilometers from their home, according to the Massachusetts Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Some species of squirrels have new litters every few months or only twice a year.

As a curiosity: Increased stress during pregnancy helps red squirrels ensure that their young grow quickly.

State of conservation

According to the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, these squirrel species are in danger of extinction: Woolly flying A., to. Sipora Flying, to. Mentawi Flying, to. smoked flying, a. of Vincent's bush, land of Idaho, The. fraternal y a. de Mearns.

flying squirrel by Namdapha is critically endangered.

Importance for the environment

These little squirrels wild they are very good for planting trees. They bury their acorns, but forget where they put them. Forgotten acorns turn into oaks. Thus helping the ecosystem.

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