Overview of the Squirrel
Squirrels belong to a large family of small to medium
sized rodents. This family includes: tree squirrels,
ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots, flying squirrels,
and prairie dogs.
Squirrels are small rodents, ranging in size from the
African pygmy squirrel at 2.8 to 3.9 inches in length
and 0.35 ounces to the Alpine marmot at 21 to 29 inches
in length and 11 to 18 pounds. In general, they have
very slim bodies with bushy tails and large eyes. As
their large eyes suggest, squirrels have great vision.
Squirrels live in almost every habitat in the world.
They are primarily herbivores, consuming seeds and nuts,
but some will eat insects and even small vertebrates.
Unlike rabbits or deer, squirrels cannot feed upon cellulose.
This means that they must rely on foods rich in protein,
carbohydrates, and fat. In temperate regions, the early
spring is the most difficult time of year for squirrels.
This is mainly due to the fact that buried nuts begin
to sprout and are no longer available to eat.
Some squirrels have been known to consume meat, especially
when hungry. They can eat insects, eggs, small birds,
snakes and smaller rodents. For example, a specie of
squirrel called the thirteen-lined ground squirrel has
been observed preying on a young chicken.
About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals http://www.wildlife-animals.com
an educational wildlife and animal website. Jacob also
guest writes for Dog Pound http://www.dog-pound.net