To keep their ever-growing teeth at optimal level, squirrels have to chew at hard, nutty foods. Their tails are covered with fluffs and furs which makes it easy for them to balance as they hop from one tree branch to another, and from one electrical line to another. They use their tails as some sort of parachute which enables them to jump from a height of over 100 feet without getting injured. Squirrels are very cunning – they dig up holes and store up waste leaves in them to deceive other animals into believing that they are hiding their food. They are poor at remembering where they store up their foods especially when living in a wide range. Tree seeds which they forget to recover after burying them will end up growing into big tree, and for this reason, squirrels are considered beneficial in the maintenance of the population of forest trees. In the wild, an average squirrel lives up to six years, weighs about 1.5 pounds and measures 8 to 20 inches in length on reaching adulthood. Their mouth is outfitted with 4 teeth which never stops growing all through the squirrel’s life.
Squirrels are remarkably small. They have their eyes right atop their head, with both eyes separated by a small gap, hence making it easy for them to see far and beyond without having to twist and turn their heads. Talking about running speed, squirrels occupy an impressive position is the list of fast running rodents – 20mph on the average.
Unlike some other animals that hibernate during winter, squirrels don’t, but may spend all day in their nest during winter, occasionally coming out to scout for food. They are in the habit of setting up their nest atop tree branches and sometimes beneath tree leaves and cavities of tree barks. When communicate with each other, they do so aloud – barking, screaming and chattering are their favorite means of communication. Sometimes, they send out signals to each other via body gesture – wagging of tail, stomping of feet are typical examples. To prepare for winter, squirrels would store up food during summer and autumn when weather condition is conducive for scouting food. They store up their food in holes and burrows, flowerpots and just about any place they consider safe for storage. When attacked, the squirrel would run in zigzag fashion making it difficult for the predator to catch up with it.
Squirrels feed mostly on walnuts, hickory nuts, acorns, and sunflower seed. On the average, a squirrel consumes 1.5 pounds of food a week to stay in shape. Their digestive system lacks cellulose, and for this reason, they can only feed on barks of trees and green plants and fruits like berries, tree nuts, acorns, birdseed, as well as plants like mushroom and sunflower seeds. Squirrels need to consume food in large quantity during winter months to stay afloat. Little wonder why some species of squirrels have developed the ability to smell food buried deep down into the snow. They depend on their digging skills to reach food buried deep down into the earth.
Squirrels are considered as arboreal creatures, in that they build their nest atop tree branches and beneath fallen leaves. They majorly source their food from nuts and acorns, both a form of mast sourced from woody trees. As such, squirrels are mostly found in areas filled with tree bearing nuts.