Awe-ducational: The Squirrel

There are three main types of squirrels: ground squirrels, tree squirrels, and flying squirrels. Squirrels have fur that ranges in color from light brown to dark gray. A distinctive bushy tail and large black eyes make squirrels easy to spot. A squirrel’s front teeth never stop growing and can grow up to 6 inch a year; however, they do not grow too long due to wear from gnawing on hard food.

A Squirrel

               
A squirrel’s diet consists of nuts, seeds, berries, mushrooms, and some green vegetation. Tree squirrels store food for the winter in the ground, in hollow trees, or under leaves. Sometimes a squirrel will forget to collect all of the nuts that it buried for the winter. Those nuts grow into trees. Unlike tree squirrels grounds squirrels hibernate during the winter. In preparation for hibernation a ground squirrel will eats large amounts of food during autumn to increase its body fat, which they survive off of during hibernation.


squirrel pic

                A flying squirrel, contrary to its name, does not actually fly. It uses a flap of loose skin between its front and back legs as a parachute to glide down from the high branches of a tree. Using this method a flying squirrel is able to glide up to 200 feet.

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                Squirrels are found in all parts of the world except Australia and Antarctica. They are close relatives with chipmunks, marmots, and prairie dogs. Squirrels are a common type of urban wildlife. You will see them in parks and cities, or even your neighborhood. Squirrels have adapted to thrive in an urban environment and are very skilled at gathering food from generous or unsuspecting humans. 

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If you want to learn more about squirrels you can visit the juvenile non-fiction section at the Auburn Hills Public Library. Here are some books that you can check out on the topic.

Squirrels by Laura Diemer Squirrels Furry Scurriers by Rebecca Olien How Do You Know It's Fall by Allan Fowler The Prairie Dog's Town A Perfect Hideaway by Miriam Aronin