Thursday Thirteen #45

photo © Nancy Bond

1. The word “squirrel” means shadow tail in Greek.

2. The hind legs of squirrels are double-jointed. This helps them run up and down trees quickly.

3. Mating season is February through May with a 44-day gestation period. Typically 2-4 young are born per litter.

4. Squirrels have 5 toes on their back feet and 4 toes on their front. Their front toes are very sharp and help in gripping tree bark for climbing.

5. Squirrels in general are found on every continent except Antarctica and Australia.

6. Squirrels can eat their own body weight (approximately 1.5 pounds) every week.

7. Squirrels can fall up to 100 feet without hurting themselves. They’ll use their tail both for balance and as a parachute.

8. Squirrels eyes are positioned in such a way that they can see some things behind them.

9. Squirrels can jump a distance of up to 20 feet. They have long, muscular hind legs and short front legs that work together to aid in leaping.

10. A common misconception about squirrels is that they hibernate during the winter. While true that squirrels are rarely seen during extreme cold, this is because they remain near their nest where it is warm.

11. There are about 300 varieties of squirrels around the world. In North America there are ten.

12. Squirrels typically live in trees — in holes in the trunk, or in treetop crow’s nests. The homes in the treetops are called dreys and sometimes consist of two rooms and a nursery!

13. During their first seven weeks they will nurse milk, and then they will eat nuts, acorns, wheat, fruit, bird’s eggs, and mushrooms. Sometimes they will also eat leaves, berries, seeds, oak buds, and corn as well as insects, moths, bird eggs and nestling birds. What they eat depends on the time of year. For example, nuts and acorns are typically eaten during the fall. A squirrel needs about two pounds of food a week. If it can’t find it, it will move.

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Author: nancybond

A writer, photographer, naturalist from small town Nova Scotia, Canada.

19 thoughts on “Thursday Thirteen #45”

  1. Oh, it really is about squirrels. I thought you meant squirrelly in a different way.

    I recently saw one jump on the ground like a flying reindeer. I also had a flying one stuck in my bedroom once. It tore up the screen and freaked me out.

  2. Interesting list. We have two species in the UK, the native red squirrel, and the North American grey squirrel, which was introduced in the 19th century. Sadly, the larger greys have forced the native reds to the verge of extinction in recent years, due to their aggression and hogging of food resources. The greys are still pretty cute, though. Happy TT!

    My TT list of thirteen bizarre phobias is up at Siani’s Pot-Pourri.

  3. Definitely not a list I could have predicted coming across today. :) Thanks for all the facts. I live in the city so they’re about the only wildlife I get to see regularly. :)

    Happy TT


  4. well, Nancy, your list of squirrel facts is just perfect. I’m doing a unit on animals preparing for winter on my Grammy blog this week. One of the entries is – hey, guess what? – squirrels.
    I’m going over there right away to add a link to your squirrely post!

  5. When we first moved in our house squirrels occupied the attic. When I would come out on my front porch there would be a squirrel and he would stand up straight and hiss at me like I was invading their territory.
    Thanks for the facts, and thanks for stopping by my blog.

  6. I learned many things I did not know about squirrels, and I wonder why they aren’t found in Australia….very curious. Congrats on finishing NaBlo, it feels good to accomplish something doesn’t it? Thanks for visiting my T13

  7. Thanks for the list, Nancy – I need to bookmark it, but not because I think squirrels are cute…. it’s more along the lines of “Know thine enemy”. The squirrels and I are at war.
    Will it give me more power over them to know their homes are called Dreys?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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