Wherever you call home, we can guarantee you’ve spotted a squirrel at some point. After all, these fluffy-tailed rodents are ubiquitous in the outdoors all over the planet… well, almost all over.
We might take them for granted, but squirrels are actually quite fascinating. Did you know that squirrels live on every continent except Antarctica and Australia? That’s nuts!
In fact, there’s a lot about these little critters that you might not know. Here are a few more facts about our favorite furry forest friends…
Squirrels are such a common sight to most people that we rarely stop to think about how truly amazing they actually are. From their different shapes and sizes to the way they hide food, they’re endlessly fascinating. Just read these incredible squirrel facts and you’ll never look at them the same way again!
1. While albino squirrels do exist, there are some non-albino Eastern gray squirrels who are just white: These squirrels have a rare recessive gene that causes their fur to be white. Technically, they should be called white squirrels, not albino, but that has yet to be changed.
2. If a squirrel looks fat to you, it’s probably for a good reason: One way squirrels stay warm in the chilly winter months is by gaining upwards of half their own weight in a protective flabby layer. How’s that for a winter coat?
3. Male squirrels masturbate: Yes, and they do it quite often to boot. Researchers have found that the males will do this as a means to flush out their old sperm and to help get a higher quantity of seed for the next time they mate.
4. They can be domesticated… but probably shouldn’t: You can make a squirrel a pet, but you’ll probably wind up regretting it big time. You will never be able to stop them from doing things like burrowing holes in your furniture to store food.
5. Twenty-five percent of all the food squirrels hide is stolen: Squirrels spend three-quarters of their day hiding food. They wouldn’t have to do so much if a huge portion of their reserves weren’t constantly being snatched up by birds or other squirrels. It’s just too bad many of them use the same hiding spots!
6. Squirrels adopt orphans: If you needed a reason to love squirrels even more, this is definitely it. While squirrels can have biological children, if they find an abandoned newborn squirrel, they will happily make it a part of their family.
7. Their front teeth never actually stop growing: Like most rodents, squirrels have to gnaw to keep their teeth from growing out of control. The word “rodent” actually comes from the Latin rodere, which means to chew or gnaw.
8. Squirrels excel at finding food: A squirrel can find food under even a foot of snow! Researchers believe this is because their noses are so close to the ground, making it easier for them to smell food that’s fallen. No peanut is safe!
9. Spring is Baby Squirrel Awareness Season: It’s common during the spring months to find baby squirrels who have fallen from the nest. The best thing you can do is make them a temporary nest and leave them by a tree. Don’t handle them too much; their mother will come find them!
Who knew squirrels were this interesting? These sweet-faced cheeky rodents will continue to amaze and entertain us for years to come.
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