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Did you know there are around 170 species of the squirrel?
There’s the Pygmy Squirrel in Africa that only weighs a ½ ounce and whose heart beat’s 500 times per minute!
In Kazakhstan (that’s in Central Asia) the Burrowing Squirrel can reach weights up to 18 pounds! And the Flying Squirrel uses his special “arm membranes” to glide his way from tree-to-tree.
There are Squirrels that eat nuts. Squirrels that eat seeds. Squirrels that eat bugs, and some Squirrels that even eat birds and pizza (when it’s available).
But the one thing all these squirrels have in common is they are totally fascinating.
Let’s go Squirrely and discover more Squirrel-iffic facts!
Squirrel-iffic Fact # 1 – They’re Rodents
Squirrels are technically rodents. They are members of the Sciuridae family which includes chipmunks and prairie dogs.
Squirrel-iffic Fact # 2 – They Have None-Stop Growing Teeth
The front teeth of the squirrel never stop growing. To prevent their choppers from getting too long this rodent has to constantly gnaw on things. In fact, their name in Latin (rodere) means “to gnaw.”
Did You Know…there are no Squirrels in Australia?
Squirrel-iffic Fact # 3 – They’re Food-Hiders
Squirrels are great at hiding their food. What they’re not great at is keeping it hidden. Birds, other squirrels, and animals steal up to a quarter of this rodent’s stash. But, that’s not always a bad thing. When a squirrel hides an acorn, it can sprout into a mighty oak tree.
Squirrel-iffic Fact # 4 – They Have a Powerful Sense of Smell
In the cold winter months when food is scarce, the squirrel can smell his hidden food under a foot of snow! He will even dig long tunnels to get to the tasty morsel.
Did You Know…Some mother squirrels will take in abandoned baby squirrels and raise them as their own?
Squirrel-iffic Fact # 5 – Not So Friendly
These rodents don’t like to be around each other. They can be very territorial and would prefer to be left alone.
Squirrel-iffic Fact # 6 – Zig-Zag Runners
When squirrels run, they do so in a zig-zag pattern. This makes it more difficult for a hungry predator to nab one.
Did You Know…Squirrels will pretend to bury food to fool other food thieves?
Squirrel-iffic Fact # 7 – Not So Plentiful Before the 1800’s
Squirrels were introduced to Central Park in New York City in the early 19th century. Up until then, there wasn’t any.
Can you spot the sleeping squirrel in this picture?
Now that we’ve gone squirrely with all these fun facts, share them with your friends and family. Then they can be “squirrely,” too!
If you would like your very own squirrel, click, print, and create this squirrel coloring page
Parents and Teachers, be sure to check out Curriculum Corner for a fun way to educate and engage your little learners.
Curriculum Corner – We’ve Gone Squirrely (PDF available for download).