All About Albert's Squirrel

All About Albert's Squirrel
Image Source: By Ferdfarnsworth at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?
curid=18071339

1. As well as being smaller than grey squirrels-and a different colour-reds have big tufts of fur at the tips of their ears. Grey squirrels don’t have these tufts.

2. Squirrels in the are diurnal, which means they’re active during the day. You’re most likely to see them out and about searching for food in the early morning, or just before sunset.

3. Squirrels are omnivores, eating both animal and vegetable organisms. Foods they eat in the wild include acorns, hazelnuts, fungi, bulbs, tree buds, and even bird eggs.

4. A squirrel builds a nest, called a drey. This is where it will rest, sleep, hide from danger and keep warm. The drey is usually built high up in the branches of a tree, or sometimes inside a hollow area of the tree itself. It’s usually about the size of a watermelon, and is made from natural materials the squirrel picks up, including twigs, leaves and feathers.

5. Unlike dormice and bats, squirrels don’t hibernate (go into a long sleep) during the winter. Instead, they keep warm in their dreys and come out every now and then to hunt for the nuts they buried in the ground during the autumn.

6. When a squirrel feels threatened, it holds its body in a particular way to scare off the potential predator. It sits bolt upright, flicks its bushy tail, and makes loud spitting noises!

7. Grey squirrels actually change colour during the year. During the winter their fur is a pale, silvery grey; but during the summer grey squirrels tend to turn a light, yellowy brown.

8. A squirrel’s hind feet are double-jointed, which means it can hold on easily whilst climbing down a tree trunk head-first.

9. A few grey squirrels look very unusual. Differences in their genes mean that grey albino squirrels are actually white, with pink eyes! And there are also some, quite rare 'black' squirrels. These are actually grey squirrels too, but they have unusually high levels of the black colouring melanin in their fur.

10. Squirrels are named for their tails, which reflects the significance of the bodily structure. The base of the tail houses a bundle of blood vessels which allows for the retention or dissipation of heat from the body core. 

11. Squirrels are named for their tails, which reflects the significance of the bodily structure. The base of the tail houses a bundle of blood vessels which allows for the retention ordissipation of heat from the body core.

12. Squirrels eat both epigeal (above ground, fruiting bodies) and hypogeal (below ground) mycorrhizal (symbiotic) fungi. They may serve as important dispersal agents for mycorrhizal fungal spores. 

13. One of these treeloving mammals is the Abert’s Squirrel. The species was named for John James Abert, an United States military officer who headed the Corps of Topographical Engineers for twentythree years startingin 1838. 

14. The Abert’s is also known as the tasseleared, tuft-eared, and, in parts of Arizona, the Kaibab squirrel.
Image Source" By Lee Davis III - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32271517

15. Abert’s Squirrels are tree squirrels that remain active year-round.

16. Abert’s Squirrels have dark gray backs with a red-brown patch, white bellies, and long fluffy white tails. Their most distinctive features are their large ears topped with tassels of fur.

17. Abert’s Squirrels feed on the cones, buds, and twigs of Ponderosa pine trees as well as fungus and tree sap.

18. When Abert’s Squirrels dig up and eat Ectomychorrhizal fungus they disperse spores aiding in the reproduction of the fungus. Ectomychorrhizal fungus benefit Ponderosa pines by growing around the roots of the trees and helping the trees to maintain moisture in an arid environment.

19. Abert’s Squirrels are excellent climbers. They can hang onto a tree limb using only their rear feet while keeping their front feet free to handle food.

20. Abert’s Squirrels build nests high in Ponderosa pine trees. The nests look like a large, messy bird nest. Abert’s collect pine duff to create a warm, snugly home. Here, in late spring or early summer, female Abert’s give birth to their tiny, pink, hairless babies.

21. Young Abert’s emerge from the nest by late summer to forage along side their parents.

22. In early spring, Abert’s squirrels can be spotted clinging to the side of Box elder trees and consuming their sweet sap.

23. Squirrel Nutkin is a very famous red squirrel, from the children’s book of the same name, written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter.

24. Nutkin is a bold, cheeky little squirrel. He and his relatives sail to Owl Island, and ask the resident owl-Old Brown-if they can collect nuts there.

25. Nutkin’s family is very polite to Old Brown but Nutkin himself always teases him and gets on his nerves. One day, the owl finally snaps, and poor Nutkin has to run for his life!

26. His friend and famous explorer/naturalist/ bird lover John James Audubon named a squirrel after him.

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