Squirrel interesting facts

4 Sweetest Things You Didn’t Know About Squirrels Even If You Love Them!

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I am sure you love squirrels, who doesn’t? :)

But do you know these 4 intriguing and super sweet facts about them?

1. Squirrels are tree planters. Oh yes, seriously!

Squirrels are food hoarders, and are famous for hiding their food. They need to bury nuts and acorns for winters. In what is known as “scatter hoarding”, a single squirrel can bury thousands of acorns all over the place. But they never dig up and recover all of them later. Often, they just forget where they had buried all their food.

These forgotten acorns become the Oak trees! According to scientists, this is how hardwood forests spread. Now, isn’t that sweet? :)

Deep in the frozen tundra of northeastern Siberia, a squirrel buried fruits some 32,000 years ago from a plant that bore white flowers. In the winter of 2012, a team of Russian scientists unearthed the fruit and brought tissue from it back to life, growing the plant once again!

2. Squirrels adopt orphaned babies!

Squirrels have this incredible altruistic side to them.

According to biologist Jamie Gorrel, after climbing a tree in the middle of the Yukon forest, he looked into a squirrel’s nest and found a pup that clearly did not belong there. It was older and larger than the others in the litter.

Photo credit: Ryan W.Taylor

He along with his research team collected DNA from the whole litter and later, back at the genetics laboratory, the mystery was solved.

They determined that the larger pup had been adopted by an older sister after its mother had been killed by a predator!

3. When it comes to food storage and consumption, squirrels are craftier than you think!

Squirrels often practice “deceptive catching”!

While hiding their food, if squirrels think that they are being watched by their food robbers, they will try to mislead them. What Squirrels do is, they dig a hole and pretend to bury some random tidbit in it and then cover it too. But actually, they have not put the real thing (the nuts) in there, it is still in their mouth! :)

And as for food buried by others, squirrels can find the food buried beneath even one foot of snow!

Squirrels are gourmet cooks!

How, you ask?

Well, for one, they know the difference between acorns coming from two different types of Oaks – Red & White.

And so they store them accordingly too! :)

White acorns germinate fast after falling from the tree, consequently losing their nutrition, so squirrels eat them as soon as they find them. But red acorns last long, so they bury them for winter! :)

Another gourmet skill of squirrels, they make Mushroom Jerky!

Red squirrels hang Mushroom out to dry between tree branches so that it keeps better over the winter.

4. Squirrels got their name from that super fluffy and super useful tail!

According to wordcentral.com, the word “Squirrel” came into existence in this very interesting way –

When a squirrel sits up to eat or to look around, it often raises its bushy tail up against its back and over its head as if to shade itself.

The ancient Greeks noticed this habit, and they called the animal skiouros. This word was made up of skia, meaning “shadow,” and oura, “tail.”

The Romans turned this into the Latin word sciurus, which made its way into early French as esquirel. English squirrel was borrowed from the French.

Squirrels make fancy uses of their tails, such as:

  • Protection from rain!
  • As shade while in extreme sun!
  • For balance!
  • As a blanket in harsh winter!
  • Like a rudder during swimming in water!

I met this chubby cute little miss while she was relishing acorn outside a visitor center of the Great Smoky Mountains National park.

She was so engrossed in eating, I could patiently take some good photos of her from pretty close… :)

Wishing you a very happy June 2018 – Keep your screens pleasant, keep your month organized! :)



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©2018 Gyaneshwari Dave

12 Responses

  1. vsweta

    Nice post, enjoyed reading it. I am a bird lover, so to me squirrels are really more of a nuisance around the bird-feeder, but I think I am warming up to them (somewhat) and your blog post definitely increases their cuteness quotient ;)

  2. Yolimar Cabello

    Wow! Incredible facts. Thank you for sharing.

    • Dave G

      Hi Yolimar, I am happy you enjoyed the article! :)

    • Dave G

      Oh yes…I was so surprised too when I had first come across that fact…so intriguing… :)

        • G Dave

          That is good to know. And Squirrel as pet! That’s one great childhood for sure! :)

          • lloydslensphotographyllc

            I’m only hoping that the statute of limitations is up. I learned long after that it was illegal. But, yeah. It was great. I kept peanuts in my shirt pocket and the squirrel would carry them up to the bill of my hat and ride around while he munched them.

            • Dave G

              Oh I had no idea it was illegal! But when one thinks about its long term effect on the ecology in general, it is understable.

  3. Abbas Hitawala

    Very impressive and never heard of fun facts about Squirrels. In India, in the Rajasthan folk culture when it is raining while the sun is shining, it is believed that somewhere a pair of squirrels are getting married!
    Thanks for the great article! Keep it up

    • Dave G

      Oh wow, that’s such a sweet folklore!!!

      Thank you AB, and I am happy you enjoyed this article… :)

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