Did You Know?
- That squirrels are highly intelligent creatures? They use a technique called “bogus food burying” to deceive onlookers as to where they are hiding their cache of food for the winter.
They keep their food in their mouth, pretend to bury it, and then bury it elsewhere when no one is looking.
- They have extremely good spatial memory to find their food again. They bury their food near landmarks in several locations, and then form a cognitive map to find it again.
- 80% of the world’s trees were planted by squirrel’s unearthed caches of acorns and seeds!
- They run in erratic paths(often zigzags) to deceive potential predators as to their chosen direction (although this doesn’t work too well with cars!)
- If a predator grabs them by the tail, the tail’s skin and sometimes a few vertebrae will“de-glove” harmlessly, allowing the squirrel to escape. It does not grow back but does not seem to decrease its quality or quantity of life.
- They do not hibernate during winter, but bulk-up before, and cache food. Their best food supply are acorns, walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds… not peanuts or sunflower seeds. If low on food they will harvest maple syrup from trees.
- They can leap 10xs their body length and can turn their ankles 180 degrees to face any direction while climbing. They are extreme acrobatics and can climb and balance on the narrowest of branches and wires.
- They have 4 front teeth that never stop growing and they must wear them down by chewing.
- The male squirrel’s penis is 40 % the length of his body and testes about half that! (so “hung like a squirrel” is a compliment, “ hung like a hamster” not so much!
- They are very trusting animals and are the very few that will eat out of a human’s hand.
- They are the Native symbol for preparation, trust and thriftiness!