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Tree Squirrel


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Zeynab
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« on: October 01, 2006, 02:07:43 am »

Research reveals that squirrels have lived and thrived on earth for at least 40 million years. Fossils as old as that have been discovered in various parts of the world. The name, 'squirrel' was derived from an ancient Greece word "skiouros" which translates as 'one who sits in the shadow of its tail.'  They are a member of the rodent (gnawing animal) family. Approximately 40% of all present day mammals are members of the squirrel family. There are three types of squirrels: tree squirrels, flying squirrels, and ground squirrels . They are found on all continents except Australia. Tree squirrels being the commonest of all, and certainly my favourite, I will discuss them here.

Tree squirrels are so named because they live in trees. Trees provide three basic needs for tree squirrels: water, food, shelter. Squirrels seldom drink water. They get most of their water from  food and dew. A squirrel’s diet includes: seeds, nuts, fruit, buds, shoots, bark, sap, insects, eggs, berries, and fungi (mushrooms). Squirrels can eat mushrooms that are poisonous to humans because the squirrel’s digestive tract is able to neutralize the poison in these mushrooms. Most of the items in a squirrel’s diet are found in or around trees. An urban squirrel may add scraps from trash such as bread, fruit, meat, and snack food to its diet. A squirrel’s diet is seasonal depending on what is available. However, feeding raw peanuts to squirrels and other animals can have serious consequences. The results can even be fatal if peanuts compose a large and constant part of their diet. Peanuts are a legume, not an actual nut. When raw, peanuts prevent the pancreas from producing trypsin which is an enzyme essential for the absorption of protein by the intestine. Thus, squirrels fed a steady diet of raw peanuts could develop severe malnutrition. And of course, salted nuts of any kind should never be fed to squirrels or any wild animals.

Squirrels are very active mammals. The average squirrel eats about two pounds of food a week. Therefore, they spend most of their life in the pursuit of food. Squirrels instinctively bury food in the fall to prepare for the winter. They have a good memory (brain the size of a walnut) but they also rely on their highly developed sense of smell to locate burried food. Squirrels add a scent to the nut by licking it or rubbing it against their fur before they bury it, to help them locate it months later. In the winter a squirrel eats any food it can find.

Tree squirrels live in trees, either inside a hollow part of the tree or a nest of leaves and twigs. Each squirrel claims a territory and marks it with his/her scent. For protection, squirrels usually build several smaller nests in addition to the main nest. The nest provides protection from heat and cold, a refuge from enemies, a place to raise their young ones, and a storage site for food. Squirrels usually live alone in their nest. Exceptions are, wintertime when body heat is needed to keep warm, and when the female is raising her babies. Babies are born hairless and defenseless in a liter of about five. At eight weeks they are weaned and must be independent enough to acquire their own food. The male plays no part in raising of the babies. An adult tree squirrel can weigh as much as seven pounds and has a life span of approximately six years.

Tree squirrels are well geared for tree living. Their long bushy tail serves as an umbrella, a blanket and a parachute. The tail makes it possible for squirrels to live in the trees.

They are not aggressive animals and will flee rather than fight when threatened. Natural enemies of tree squirrels include: birds of prey, weasels, snakes, foxes and dogs. Tree squirrels depend on their speed, heightened sense of smell and keen eyesight. They are fascinating animals to watch, photograph, and study. They make themselves available for observation in ways that few other animals do.
 



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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2012, 11:51:13 pm »

I owned a tamed pet squirrel few years ago. I tamed it myself squirrel is not nice pet it little devil bite and destroy everything from my expensive carved wooden panel to my handphone, and I always forgive it  RollLaugh
not a reccomended pet though, it have strong memory and revengevul, if squrrel hates someone he will always stealthy tried to attack the person he hates  hiyaaa
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2012, 04:29:07 am »

Ahahaha   Cheesy    All pets are smart.  squirrels love the outdoors.  having them as house pets deprives them of enjoying the outdoors.  That's why probably they try to "attack" in their own cute ways. 
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