Squirrels are beloved creatures around the world, found in almost every habitat.
They can be seen playing in backyards and parks, collecting nuts for winter storage, and often curious about humans that come into their presence.
With so many different species of squirrels, it’s no wonder they have become some of the most recognizable animals on earth.
Here are some interesting facts about these curious creatures that will surely surprise you!
Fact #1: There are over 200 species of squirrels.
Squirrels are members of the rodent family, and there are over 200 species of them around the world!
These different species can be found in a variety of habitats, from urban parks to dense forests.
Different species have adapted to their natural environment and evolved with time, leading to some truly unique characteristics among different types of squirrels.
From the bushy-tailed red squirrel of North America to the tiny pygmy squirrels of southeast Asia, there is no shortage of diversity among these charming critters.
Fact #2: Squirrels are found on every continent except for Antarctica.
No matter where you go in the world, chances are you’ll find a squirrel or two!
Despite the fact that Antarctica is extremely cold and inhospitable for most wildlife, even that continent cannot be immune to the presence of these remarkable creatures.
While not native to Antarctica, many species of squirrels can be found living on other continents, such as North America, Europe, Asia, and even Australia.
That means that no matter where you go in the world (except Antarctica), you’ll find some type of squirrel!
Fact #3: Squirrels are expert acrobats.
Squirrels may be small, but they are acrobatic professionals!
Not only can they jump as high as 6 feet in the air, but they can also run along power lines and leap from tree branches with ease.
In fact, squirrels have been known to climb nearly vertical walls and even hang upside down while reaching for food.
It’s no wonder why these animals are so popular – their acrobatic prowess is truly impressive!
Fact #4: The smallest squirrel is the African pygmy squirrel.
The African pygmy squirrel is the smallest species of squirrel in the world, measuring just 5-6 inches long.
This tiny creature makes its home in the dense forests of western and central Africa, where it can be found scurrying through branches and gathering nuts and seeds.
Although they are small in size, they have an important role to play in their ecosystem – they help spread the seeds of many trees and plants, aiding in the growth of new vegetation.
Fact #5: The largest squirrel is the Indian giant squirrel.
The Indian giant squirrel is the largest species of squirrel in the world, measuring up to 3 feet long! That’s almost twice as large as a regular-sized squirrel.
Native to India and other southeast Asian countries, these massive critters are most often found in trees near forests or rivers.
They feed primarily on fruits and nuts but have also been known to eat small birds and eggs.
Fact #6: Squirrels can jump as high as 6 feet in the air.
Despite their small size, squirrels possess surprising agility!
They are able to leap as high as 6 feet into the air – a feat that most athletes would struggle to match.
Their incredible jumping power makes them capable of reaching food in the tallest trees and also helps them escape predators with ease.
In fact, some species of squirrels are even able to glide between trees using their long tail as a parachute!
Fact #7: Squirrels typically live between 10 and 20 years in the wild.
The average life span of a squirrel in the wild is between 10 and 20 years. However, some species can live for much longer – up to 30 years or more!
This is due in part to the fact that squirrels are able to eat a wide variety of diets and are very adaptable animals.
They are also able to recognize predators and will use their agility to escape danger quickly. All of these factors help squirrels stay alive for longer periods of time!
Fact #8: Some species of squirrels are capable of swimming.
Many species of squirrels are capable of swimming, especially those that live near rivers and lakes.
These small creatures will often take to the water in order to escape predators or find food. They’re also able to use their long tails like paddles while they swim!
It’s truly remarkable how these animals are able to survive in such a wide variety of habitats.
Fact #9: Squirrels are excellent hoarders.
Squirrels have an impressive ability to remember where they’ve hidden their food, and they often bury nuts in order to save them for later.
They’ll even go as far as digging up nuts that were buried by other squirrels in order to gather more food for themselves!
This behavior demonstrates their amazing memory and adaptability- traits that have kept them alive for so many years.
Fact #10: Squirrels are proficient climbers and can climb trees with ease.
The agility and strength of squirrels allow them to climb trees quickly and power lines in order to get food or escape predators.
Their long tails also provide them with extra stability while they’re scaling up a tree trunk.
Plus, their sharp claws help them cling on tight as they make their way up the tree!
Fact #11: Squirrels have excellent vision.
Squirrels have amazing eyesight and can see colors very clearly.
They use this keen vision to spot predators from far away and find food in dense forests.
Additionally, their large eyes are able to capture more light than many other animals, allowing them to see better in low-light situations.
Fact #12: Squirrels have very good hearing and can detect high-pitched sounds that humans cannot hear.
The sharp hearing of squirrels allows them to detect even the quietest of sounds.
This helps them communicate with other squirrels, and it also enables them to recognize predator movements from far away.
They can even pick up on high-pitched noises that humans cannot hear!
Fact #13: Most of a squirrel’s diet consists of nuts and seeds.
Squirrels are omnivorous and feed primarily on nuts and seeds.
They’ll also eat mushrooms, fruits, insects, eggs, and small animals such as mice or birds, and even scavenge for human leftovers if they get the chance.
To meet their nutritional needs, squirrels will generally eat around 3-4 pounds of food every week!
Fact #14: Squirrels are mostly active during the day.
While the majority of squirrels are diurnal, meaning they are primarily active during the day, some species, such as flying squirrels, are nocturnal.
This means they become most active at night and sleep during the day.
Other species may also be crepuscular, which means they’re active around dawn and dusk.
Overall, squirrels are incredibly fascinating animals with many unique and interesting characteristics.
They have an impressive life span, can swim, are excellent hoarders and climbers, have great vision and hearing, and are most active during the day.
But perhaps the most interesting thing about them is how adaptable they’ve been able to become over time!