Animals >>

Squirrel

Squirrel Facts

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderRodentia
FamilySciuridae
Scientific NameSciuridae
TypeMammal
DietOmnivore
Size15-30cm (6-12in)
Weight250-1,000g (0.5-2.2lbs)
Top Speed25km/h (16mph)
Life Span2-8 years
LifestyleSolitary
Conservation StatusThreatened
ColourBlack, Grey, Brown, Tan, Red
Skin TypeFur
Favourite FoodFruit
HabitatWoodland and dense forests
Average Litter Size3
Main PreyFruit, Seeds, Insects
PredatorsSnakes, Coyote, Weasels
Special FeaturesCheek teeth and long, furry tail

Squirrel Location

Map of Squirrel Locations

Squirrel

There are many different species of squirrel natively found in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. Squirrels are small rodents generally between 10 cm and 20 cm tall, although some species of squirrel like marmots and prairie dogs around the size of a small beaver.

The red squirrel native to the United Kingdom is rapidly becoming extinct due to the rise in eastern grey squirrel numbers. In the UK grey squirrels are classed as vermin so it is illegal to release any into the wild as the grey squirrel destroys the habitats of the smaller native red squirrel.

There are around 50 species of flying squirrel found in tree tops worldwide. These flying squirrels cannot fly as such, but more jump and glide to their destination, with the flying squirrel able to use its shorter tail to help it balance.

There are about six species of ground squirrel still found mainly in America with the exception of the African ground squirrel which resembles a small meerkat. Marmots and prairie dogs can grow to up to 60 cm in length and live for more than 20 years in captivity.

Squirrels eat nuts, berries, shoots and occasionally insects. Most species of squirrel hibernates during the colder winter months, with the squirrels beginning to store food in their dens during the autumn in preparation for the winter.