About Squirrels: Appearance, Biology, Life Cycle, Habitat, Diet, Behavior

Squires are animals native to Africa, Eurasia and the Americas. They are to be found in different parts of the world where they are customed to living in different environments. There are different types of squirrels depending on where they traditionally live. They include tree squirrels, flying squirrels and ground squirrels among other types.

Squirrels are small animals with slender bodies. Their most prominent features are their large eyes and bushy tail. They have fur on their body, which can be thick or light depending on type. Their hind legs are also longer compared to front legs. The smallest squirrel happens to be the African pygmy, which measures between 7-10 cm in body length and weights only 10 g. The Alpine marmot turns out to be the largest squirrel, measuring between 50-75 cm in body length and can weight up to 8 kg.

Squirrels can be found living in almost all habitats in different parts of the world. While some are used to living in rainforests, others are to be found living in semiarid areas. Although they are wild animas, squirrels are not restricted to their natural habitats. They are known to move out of their traditional habitats to set up dens in human dwelling areas and in particular in the attic.

Squirrels are rodents. The females give birth to between 4-6 litters twice in every year after a gestation period of between 3-6 weeks depending on type. The young remain under care of their mothers for everything since they are born toothless and blind. They are weaned off at six weeks.

Life Cycles
Young squirrels become sexually active once they turn one year. While those in the wild generally have a life span of between 5-10 years, those in captivity have been observed to live up to 20 years.

Different types of squirrels behave in different ways. While ground squirrels turn out to be highly social and live as colonies, tree squirrels are solitary animals. Both ground and tree squirrels remain active during the day when they forage for food and engage in play activities. Flying squirrels are nocturnal animals that only emerge at night to forage for food.

Squirrels ate herbivorous animals. However, they also feed on fruits, nuts and seeds. Some also eat insects and small vertebrates. It must be noted that squirrels digestive system does not digest cellulose and that is why they feed on foods rich in protein, fats and carbohydrates.

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