Red squirrel searching for food in the forest.
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15 Fun Facts About Squirrels 

Squirrels are remarkable and intriguing animals. They are incredibly adaptable to their environments and have many fascinating abilities, such as being able to jump up to 20 feet in one leap.

They also store food for the winter months, known as ‘scatter-hoarding.’ By understanding more about how squirrels live, we can better appreciate the role they play in ecosystems around the world.

Learning about squirrels helps us gain a deeper understanding of nature. Here are 15 fun facts about squirrels:

Key Pest Points

•Squirrels can live in nearly any habitat, from forests to cities, and are found on every continent except Antarctica and Australia.

•Many squirrels are diurnal – meaning they are active during the day.

•There are over 200 species of squirrels, which can range from ground-dwelling creatures to tree-climbing acrobats.

1. Squirrels Are Incredibly Fast Runners

These delightful animals can run up to 20 mph, allowing them to outrun predators easily. This is especially helpful when trying to find safety in the trees or on the ground.

Their agility and speed also help them climb trees, zig-zagging around branches to escape danger quickly. So the next time you spot a squirrel, take the time to watch it move around – you won’t be disappointed!

2. There Are Over 200 Species of Squirrels Worldwide

The world of squirrels is a diverse one. There are more than 200 known species of squirrels worldwide, varying from ground-dwelling mammals to tree-dwellers and even flying squirrels!

Squirrels can be found on almost every continent, excluding Australia and Antarctica. Depending on their species, they come in many different sizes, colors, and shapes. These variations make squirrels a great species to study and observe.

3. Squirrels Have Distinctive Calls

Squirrels have various communication techniques, including vocalizations such as screeches, snorts, or barking. They also rely heavily on scent marking to mark their territory. They even use body language to express their feelings, such as stamping their feet and tail thrashing to express aggression.

By understanding these communication techniques, we can learn more about how squirrels interact with one another in the wild. This helps us to appreciate better the roles they play in their habitats.

4. Squirrels Have Excellent Memories

Squirrels have excellent memories, enabling them to remember where they’ve stored food for the winter months. It is believed that squirrels can remember the exact location of up to 9,000 nuts and their different hiding places!

Red squirrel with nuts in woodland on a mossy log.

This memory helps them survive harsh winters and provides a steady food source when other resources are scarce. It also helps them to protect their food from other animals that may steal it.

5. A Squirrels Front Teeth Do Not Stop Growing

A squirrel’s front teeth never stop growing. This is because the teeth are constantly being worn down from gnawing on nuts and other hard objects. To keep their front teeth a manageable length, they must consistently bite into objects which will wear them down. That’s why it’s not uncommon to see squirrels gnawing on wood or other hard surfaces – their teeth need the wear and tear!

6. Squirrels Are Not Nocturnal

Most people think that squirrels are nocturnal animals, but in reality, they are diurnal. That means that they are active during the day and sleep at night.

At dusk and dawn, however, you may find squirrels out foraging for food or spending a few extra minutes enjoying the last bit of sunlight. They’re not strictly nocturnal but certainly enjoy spending time in the dark.

7. Squirrels Have Excellent Vision

Squirrels have a fantastic sense of smell and hearing, but their eyesight is equally impressive. Their large eyes give them good peripheral vision and keen ability to spot predators or other threats from far away. This means that they can quickly identify potential dangers to make a quick escape if they need to.

8. Squirrels Are Expert Tree Climbers

Squirrels are incredible acrobats capable of easily climbing up and down trees. They use their sharp claws and flexible bodies to quickly scale the trunk of a tree to reach food or escape predators. Their strong hind legs and extendible wrists also help them to jump from tree to tree with precision and agility.

Squirrel climbing down tree trunk

They rely on their swiftness and agility when on the ground to dodge danger. They’re incredible athletes, and watching them gracefully move up and down trees is a sight to behold.

9. Squirrels Are Adaptable

Squirrels have adapted to survive in countless climates and environments around the world. They’ve been able to make their homes almost anywhere, from urban parks to dense forests and even mountains. Their adaptability has helped them thrive in virtually any habitat and enabled them to spread across the globe. They are truly one of the most resilient animals on Earth.

10. Squirrels Are an Important Part of the Ecosystem

Squirrels play a vital role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. They help spread the seeds of plants, providing food sources for other animals and promoting new growth. By burying their nuts, they also help to fertilize the soil and provide nutrients for other animals.

Without these bushy-tailed creatures, our environment would be drastically different. We should all take a moment to appreciate these amazing animals’ immense contributions to nature!

11. Squirrels Get Their Name From the Greek Word ‘Skiouros’

The term ‘squirrel’ is derived from the Greek word ‘skiouros,’ which translates to “shadow tail.” This references the squirrel’s large and bushy tails, which help them blend into their environment and hide from predators. The word ‘squirrel’ has been used for centuries, a testament to these animals’ vital role in our ecosystem since ancient times.

12. Only a Few Squirrels Will Hibernate

Most people believe that all squirrels hibernate during the winter months, but only ground squirrels and flying squirrels will enter a state of hibernation. Other species, such as red and grey squirrels, will remain active all year round.

These squirrels rely on the resources they’ve collected during the summer months to survive the colder temperatures in winter. With their stores of nuts, seeds, and other food items, they can find enough sustenance to last until spring.

13. Squirrels Are Very Social Animals

Though they may appear shy or aloof, ground squirrels are quite social creatures that enjoy spending time with one another. They often live in large family groups and will play with one another or groom each other.

Mother Eastern fox squirrel and her two little youngsters over the top of a wooden fence in the backyard.

They’re also very vocal and will often chatter to communicate with one another. Watching these creatures interact is fascinating, as their social behaviors are surprisingly complex.

14. Squirrels Are Considered Pests in Some Regions

Though they’re beloved by many, squirrels can become quite a nuisance in certain areas. They have been known to nibble on flower bulbs or steal birdseed from feeders, and their nests can cause significant damage to homes and other structures. They also carry various diseases and parasites that can be harmful to humans.

For these reasons, many people consider them pests and try to limit their populations in their area. It’s important to remember that squirrels are an integral part of our ecosystems and should be respected accordingly.

15. Squirrels Are a Popular Symbol in Literature and Art

Throughout history, squirrels have been featured prominently in folklore, literature, and other forms of art. They’ve often been depicted in many different ways, from playful tricksters to wise teachers. In modern times, their popularity has only grown, inspiring movies, books, and even computer games! These animals have a special place in our hearts and minds.

These are just some fun squirrel facts that you may not have known before. From their incredible resilience to their important role in the ecosystem, these animals are truly amazing creatures.

How To Prevent Squirrels From Invading Your Home

Although squirrels may be cute, they can quickly become a nuisance if they invade your home. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to discourage squirrels from entering your garden:

Seal up Entry Points

Check your home for potential openings where squirrels could enter, such as cracks in the foundation or small holes in the walls/roofing. Use caulk or steel wool to fill these gaps and keep pesky critters out.

Keep Food Sources Away

Squirrels will always be drawn to areas with abundant food, so ensure that all trash cans and pet food dishes are sealed tight and stored away from the house. Also, avoid leaving fruits or nuts on the ground near your home, as these can attract animals.

One brown squirrel on bird feeder eating the seeds.

Use Scent Deterrents

Certain smells, such as peppermint oil or vinegar, these scents can be used to repel squirrels away from your property. Place a few drops of these scents on cotton balls and leave them in areas where you’ve seen the animals before.

Install Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Motion-activated sprinklers are an effective way to scare away any squirrels that may be lurking around your yard. Set them up near potential entry points or along pathways frequented by the animals, and you should have no problem keeping them out.

Calling a Professional

If all else fails, contact a wildlife removal specialist who can help you safely remove any squirrels from your property. They’ll be able to provide the necessary tools and expertise to ensure that these animals no longer pose a threat.

Following these simple steps, you can easily keep pesky squirrels away from your home and yard. Remember to stay vigilant and take the necessary precautions to keep these animals at bay.

FAQs

Now that you know more about squirrels, here are some common questions about these adorable animals.

What’s the Rarest Squirrel?

The rarest squirrel is the albino gray squirrel, rarely seen in the wild. Other rare species include the woolly flying squirrels.

How Far Can a Squirrel Jump?

Squirrels are incredibly agile and can jump up to four to nine feet in a single leap! This remarkable feat is possible due to their powerful hind legs, which give them incredible jumping power.

What Are Squirrels Scared Of?

Like many other animals, squirrels fear loud noises and sudden movements. They’re also wary of predators such as foxes, bobcats, and coyotes. To protect themselves from these threats, squirrels use their bushy tails to blend into the environment and remain hidden.

Are Squirrels Smart?

Yes, squirrels are very intelligent animals. They’re able to quickly learn and remember routines, as well as recognize danger signals in their environment. With the help of their sharp senses and keen ability to problem-solve, they can easily survive in a variety of environments.


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