Interesting facts about squirrels are quite numerous, for example did you know that there are over 300 species of squirrels in the world? Read on for more squirrel interesting facts.
- The back feet of squirrels can turn 180 degrees which gives them the ability to climb head first down trees.
- The fluffy tails of the squirrel are used for many wonderful things including acting as a rudder to help steer the animal when it jumps, a tool for communication purposes and they are used to protect the animal from the elements including rain and sunshine.
- Ever wonder how those squirrels made it onto your roof? Keep these facts in mind: Gray and Fox Squirrels are true acrobats and can jump sideways eight (8) feet, straight up four (4) feet, and down 15 feet.
- All those acrobatics make for one sweaty animal! Squirrels have sweat glands on their feet. The scent left by their hot feet is often used to mark territories.
- To expand their field of vision, helpful when your 60 feet in the air, the Squirrel has that are placed high, and on each side of their head.
- Gray squirrels are considered “scatter hoarders” and hide one nut at time.
- Gray squirrels rarely remember where they have hidden their stash!
- Squirrels who do find their hidden stash may be using both memory and their sense of smell.
- It has been hypothesized that for the Arizona Gray Squirrel mating activity is based on the blooming of flowers whose parts contain vitamin A. It is presumed that the vitamin A stimulates the reproductive activity.
- Squirrels participate in mating chases. These chases involve several males and one (1) female and can last a full day from dawn until dusk. In fact the average mating chase will last eleven (11) hours.
- Gray squirrels keep a clean house and will not use dens or dreys as a bathroom or to store food.
- Since the babies don’t wear diapers, to keep a clean nest the mother will change out the nest material and it is even believed that that will drink and eat the babies´ excretions.
- The young are taken good care of. Babies are well groomed and when mom leaves the nest she will cover them with a layer of dry grass.
- Squirrels and electricity do not mix! Squirrels have been known to make transformers or capacitors regular stops while looking for food. Unfortunately, they are often electrocuted which results in power outages. According to some reports, squirrels are actually responsible for 25% of all power outages in the United States in any given year.
- The most famous power outages attributed to Squirrels were at the NASDAQ stock market building in which squirrels have been blamed twice.
- Back when the United States was being settled, marksmen used squirrel as an important source of meat. Some have extrapolated that squirrels should be credited with improving the colonist’s marksmanship and helping to design the guns that would later defeat the British in the revolutionary war.
Squirrels have other historical significance as well. It has been said that some native North American groups traditionally would use the nesting material of the red and flying squirrel as an absorbent lining for diapers.
- Flying squirrel scat is used as an ancient Chinese herbal remedy for abdominal pain, snake bites and nutritional deficiencies. This remedy is not available in the United States.
Squirrels are fun creatures with some potentially detrimental behaviors, and this combination leads to some pretty interesting squirrel facts.