Friday, April 29, 2011

Did You Know?

Squirrels are the most commonly seen wild animal. They are in the park, in the backyard or even at the school playground. They are found in almost all places on Earth, except for Australia, Antarctica, and the Island of Madagascar (home to lemurs). Squirrels are rodents that are closely related to chipmunks, marmots, prairie dogs, groundhogs, and woodchucks. They are characterized by their large eyes, bushy tails, and prominent front teeth. The most common squirrel seen in the United States is the Eastern gray squirrel, which live in trees. Other types of squirrels live in underground burrows. The smallest of all squirrels is the African pygmy which is only 4 inches long. The largest squirrels are found in Asia; these giant squirrels can measure up to 36 inches and weigh almost seven pounds. One of the most interesting squirrels is the nocturnal flying squirrel. This animal has large flaps of skin that allow it to leap extremely long distances, much more than that of a common squirrel. Squirrels eat plants, such as grass, nuts, and seeds. Some consume insects and a few species will occasionally eat small amounts of meat. Squirrels plant 1000s of trees. They bury nuts and forget where they have put them. The acorns then grow into trees. Some types of squirrels and squirrel like animals are Albino, American Red, Antelope, Arizona Gray, Black, Chipmunk, Douglas, Eastern Gray, Flying, Fox, Idaho, Marmot, Prairie Dog, Pygmy, Richardson, Rock, Southern Flying, Spotted, Western Gray, and Woodchucks! Russellville Courier Democrat April 28, 2011

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