In fact, most species of squirrels can run up to 20 miles per hour! They can hold this speed for up to four miles! They have small, yet powerful legs that can help them outrun a variety of wild animals.
Squirrels can use their speed to catch prey and explore their natural environment.
Why Are Squirrels So Fast?
20 miles an hour is wildly quick for such a petite animal. There are many factors that play a role in how fast squirrels can run. For example, grass has high friction, allowing these rodents to get to greater speeds.
Smooth surfaces such as roadways and parking lots can cause them to move slower. As you can assume, their size plays a part too. The larger the squirrel, the faster they can move! The one situation where they may need to reach high speeds is when attempting to outrun a predator.
Foxes and coyotes can easily catch up with a squirrel. Predatory birds and raccoons may have a harder time keeping up. If you’ve ever watched a squirrel hunt for food, you’ll notice they’re always looking around.
Because a lot of their predators are faster and larger than them, squirrels have to collect seeds, nuts, and mushrooms swiftly. Out of all the squirrels, the Eastern gray squirrel is the quickest topping out at just over 20 miles per hour!
Rodent Speed Comparison Chart
There are some impressively speedy rodents in the world. While some can only reach top speeds of two miles per hour, others are shockingly quick! Here are some of the fastest rodents in the world!
|1||Prairie dog||35 miles per hour|
|2.||Patagonian mara||25 miles per hour|
|3.||Capybara||22 miles per hour|
|4.||Chipmunk||21 miles per hour|
|5.||Squirrel||20 miles per hour|
|6.||Elephant shrew||18 miles per hour|
|7.||Chinchilla||15 miles per hour|
|8.||Rat||8 miles per hour|
|9.||Mouse||8 miles per hour|
|10.||Guinea pig||6 miles per hour|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © irishka5/Shutterstock.com
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