Tree squirrel

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Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) Tree squirrels include over a hundred species that are found on all continents except Antarctica, and are the members of the squirrel family (Sciuridae) most commonly referred to as "squirrels".[1] They do not form a single natural, or monophyletic, group, but instead are related to the various other animals in the squirrel family, including ground squirrels, flying squirrels, marmots, and chipmunks. The defining characteristic that is used to determine which of the various species of Sciuridae are tree squirrels is therefore not so dependent on their physiology, but their habitat. Tree squirrels live mostly among trees, as opposed to other squirrels that live in burrows in the ground or among rocks. However, there is one exception to this rule, as physiological distinction does make a difference in regard to flying squirrels, who also make their home in trees, but have unique physical characteristics that separate them from their tree squirrel cousins (specifically, special flaps of skin that act as glider wings, allowing them to "fly"). The most well-known genus of tree squirrels is Sciurus, which includes the eastern gray squirrel of North America (and which was introduced to Great Britain), the red squirrel of Eurasia, and the North American fox squirrel, among many others. Since many tree squirrel species have readily adapted to human-altered environments (including intensely-cultivated farms and urban cities), and because they are mostly diurnal (active during the daytime), when most people are outdoors to see them, they are perhaps the

3 In culture 4 Albino and white squirrels o 4. then.K. It is no surprise.most familiar members of the rodent family to most humans. Indeed. they are often the only wild animals (not counting birds) that most people ever see.S.1 Albino and white squirrels in folklore 5 Red and gray squirrels in the UK 6 References 7 Literature cited 8 External references [edit] Classification Indian palm squirrel (Funambulus palmarum) .3 As food  2.3.2 As pets o 2.  2. Contents [hide] • • • • • • • • 1 Classification 2 Relationship with humans o 2. that tree squirrels and humans have had a very complex and longlasting relationship.1 In the U.2 In the U.1 As pests o 2.3. in some larger cities.

clarifies the usage of "squirrel" and related terms: The squirrel family includes ground squirrels.A baby Sciurus Guy G. one of the world's leading experts on rodents.[1] Current taxonomy. Musser. which belong to 22 genera of the subfamily Sciurinae. splits the tree squirrels into several subfamilies. and flying squirrels. prairie dogs. introduced into Europe and South America) o Genus Exilisciurus (Asian pygmy squirrels) . based on genetic data. marmots.[1][2] • • • • Subfamily Ratufinae o Genus Ratufa (Asian giant squirrels) Subfamily Sciurillinae o Genus Sciurillus (South American pygmy squirrel) Subfamily Sciurinae o Tribe Sciurini (mostly American tree squirrels)  Genus Microsciurus (American dwarf squirrels)  Genus Rheithrosciurus (Borneo tufted ground squirrel)  Genus Sciurus (American and Eurasian tree squirrels)  Genus Syntheosciurus (Central American mountain squirrel)  Genus Tamiasciurus (American red squirrels) Subfamily Callosciurinae (Asian tree squirrels) o Genus Callosciurus (Oriental tree squirrels. The following genera of the squirrel family are classified as tree squirrels. and the Archbold Curator Emeritus of Mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. chipmunks. but to most people squirrel refers to the 122 species of tree squirrels.

especially crows. to either bury or recover seeds and nuts. Squirrels are generally intelligent and persistent animals. squirrels also thrive in urban environments. including attics and basements. and for building nests within human domiciles. Squirrels use their keen sense of smell to locate buried nuts and can dig extensive holes in the process.• Genus Funambulus (Asian palm squirrels. will sometimes watch a squirrel bury a nut. introduced into Australia)[3] Genus Glyphotes (sculptor squirrel) Genus Nannosciurus (Asian dwarf squirrel) Genus Prosciurillus (Sulawesi dwarf squirrels) Genus Rubrisciurus (Sulawesi giant squirrel) Genus Sundasciurus (Sunda squirrels) Genus Tamiops (Asian striped squirrels) Subfamily Xerinae o Tribe Protoxerini (African tree squirrels)  Genus Epixerus (African palm squirrels)  Genus Funisciurus (rope squirrels)  Genus Heliosciurus (sun squirrels)  Genus Myosciurus (African pygmy squirrel)  Genus Paraxerus (bush squirrels)  Genus Protoxerus (African giant squirrels) o o o o o o o [edit] Relationship with humans This squirrel. Birds. then dig it up as soon as the squirrel leaves. they are notorious for discovering clever methods to circumvent obstacles in order to eat out of bird feeders. The distance between the squirrel and the camera was less than 18 in. Tree squirrels also create minor annoyances by digging in planting pots and flower beds to pull out bulbs which they chew on. has become desensitized to humans. Although they are expert climbers. In residential neighborhoods. and primarily arboreal. where they have adapted to humans. . who was looking for a treat.

Some homeowners resort to more interesting ways of dealing with this problem. and the best way to prevent chewing on an object is to coat it with something to make it undesirable: for instance a soft cloth or chili pepper paste or powder. they are then electrocuted and cause a short circuit that shuts down equipment. repairs. This characteristic trait aids in maintaining sharp teeth. there is no tracking system to determine the total extent of the losses. prevents over-growth. Fake owls and scarecrows are generally ignored by the animals. Homeowners in areas with a heavy squirrel population must keep attics and basements carefully sealed to prevent property damage caused by nesting squirrels.This iron bird feeder is advertised as being "squirrel proof and bear resistant" [edit] As pests Squirrels are sometimes considered pests because of their propensity to chew on various edible and inedible objects. such as collecting and planting fur from pets such as domestic cats and dogs in attics. otherwise squirrels are safe neighbors that pose almost zero risk of transmitting rabies.[5] To sharpen their teeth they will often chew on tree branches or even the occasional live power line. Rubber plates (squirrel guards) are sometimes used to prevent access to these facilities. While dollar costs of these losses are sometimes calculated for isolated incidents. nut growers. The animals will climb onto transformers or capacitors looking for food. lost revenue and public relations. forest managers in addition to damage to electric transmission lines. Squirrel trapping is also practiced to remove them from residential areas. This fur will indicate to nesting squirrels that a potential predator roams and will encourage evacuation.[6] . Squirrels have brought down the high-tech NASDAQ stock market twice and were responsible for a spate of power outages at the University of Alabama. A squirrel nest is called a "drey". Squirrels are blamed for economic losses to homeowners. They can readily climb a power pole and crawl across a power line.[4] Squirrels are often the cause of power outages. These losses include direct damage to property. If they touch a high voltage conductor and a grounded portion of the device at the same time. and because their teeth grow continuously. However.

They can be taught to do tricks. a somewhat common ailment found in malnourished squirrels. they take as much food as is available. A commonly given food is peanuts. [edit] As pets Squirrels can be trained to be hand-fed. This type of deficiency has been found to cause metabolic bone disease. Because they are able to cache surplus food. Urban squirrels have learned to get a lot of food from generous humans. Therefore offering peanuts that have been roasted is the better option.Painting of a Colonial American boy holding a pet squirrel. and will become somewhat aggressive to defend the area. Squirrels living in parks and campuses in cities have learned that humans are typically a ready source of food. but recent studies show that raw peanuts contain a trypsin inhibitor that prevents the absorption of protein in the intestines. and are said to be as intelligent as dogs in their ability to learn behaviors.[citation needed] Pet squirrels are usually kept without cages. because they are deficient in several essential nutrients. but a large cage and a balanced diet with good variety will keep a pet squirrel healthy and happy. The pet owner must beware of "spring fever" at which time a female pet squirrel will become very defensive of her cage. provided they are selected young enough and are hand raised in a proper fashion.[7][dubious – discuss] However. wildlife rehabilitators in the field have noted that neither raw nor roasted peanuts nor sunflower seeds are healthy for squirrels. considering it her nest.[citation needed] [edit] As food .[8] [9][dubious – discuss] Squirrels are occasionally kept as household companions.

Before you go.and we would fry squirrel in the popcorn poppers in the dorm room. We really did.. Its flavor is mild..Morning Joe's program back in January: "When I was in college. I have to ask you about this comment on. There is no need for soaking. as they were in earlier years.[11] This is evidenced by extensive recipes for its preparation found in cookbooks. squirrels are still hunted for food.The hunting and consumption of squirrel goes back to the beginning of the human race.[15] During the 2008 U.. we used to take a popcorn popper.S.S. particularly areas of the American South.This is a real sweet meat... election. including older copies of The Joy of Cooking. rarely gamey. Republican presidential candidate and Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee mentioned his experiences eating squirrel during an interview with Meet the Press anchor Tim Russert.. Yeah. one of the contributors describes squirrel meat: Squirrel is one of the finest and tenderest of all wild meats.. of course you. In the book White Trash Cooking[13] (which contains recipes for squirrel dishes). though it may have a gamey taste[12] if handled improperly." Governor Huckabee: Yeah.. because that was the only thing.[13] Although squirrel meat is low in fat content. Tim Russert: What does it taste like? ..we ate them. Squirrel meat can be exchanged for rabbit or chicken in recipes. Tim Russert: Did you eat them? Governor Huckabee: Well. [citation needed] [edit] In the U. The following is a brief excerpt from the transcript of that interview: Eleanor Roosevelt in squirrel fur coat Tim Russert: All right.S. unlike most game meat it has been found by the American Heart Association to be high in cholesterol.. We really did that.they would let us use in the dorms. Squirrel meat is considered a favored meat in certain regions of the United States[10] where it can be listed as wild game. but skinning may wait until they're ready to be cooked. and seldom any need for parboiling. They should be cleaned as soon as possible after shooting.[14] In many areas of the U..

but fried squirrel is a Southern delicacy. when you go squirrel hunting. A recent example of this took place in 2007 in the northern New Jersey community of Ringwood..[18] This especially affects the local Ramapough Mountain Indians. and to each other.K.[19] But in the early 21st century. U.[20] Additionally. You got to know that. one member of the Ramapough Tribe told a reporter that: "I feel my ancestry is disappearing. It's not the best thing in the world but. the novelty of a meat considered unusual or special has added to the spread of squirrel consumption.[18] On learning of the ban on squirrel meat consumption. the majority of squirrel eaten in the U. Tim Russert: What's it taste like? Governor Huckabee: It.[17] which had been the location of illegally-dumped toxic waste for many years before authorities cracked down on this practice in the 1980s. which has been dwindling since the 19th-century introduction of the gray squirrel. it tastes like squirrel. resulting in dramatic habitat loss for the indigenous red squirrels.[19] This factor was marketed by a national "Save Our Squirrels" campaign that used the slogan.[16] As with other wild game and fish species. and gamekeepers. "Save a red. is acquired from professional hunters. the consumption of squirrels that have been exposed to high levels of pollution or toxic waste poses a health risk to humans. my heritage".[19] Some Britons are eating the gray squirrel as a direct attempt to help the native red squirrel. where the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services issued a warning to anyone who eats squirrel (especially for children and pregnant women) to limit their consumption after a lead-contaminated squirrel was found near the Ringwood Mines Landfill. who have hunted and consumed squirrels from before European contact. Thank the Lord. And part of it was just to say we could do it.K. it was a college thing. Tim Russert: But you're off the squirrel now? Governor Huckabee: I haven't eaten fried squirrel I think since college. however. squirrel has been a meat not commonly eaten. citizens are cooking with the invasive gray squirrel.[18] [edit] In the U. For most of the history of the United Kingdom.[19] Due to the difficulty of a clean kill and other factors.K. but it doesn't. you know. wild squirrel has become a more popular meat to cook with. [20] showing up in restaurants and shops more often in Britain as a fashionable alternative meat. The hunting and eating of squirrels is considered to be one of this people's time-honored traditions. you got to do something with those things.. trappers.[19] Specifically. eat a gray!"[19] . linking them through a process of cultural identity to their ancestors. I mean.Governor Huckabee: I should say it tastes a lot like chicken. which is being praised for its low fat content and the fact that it comes from free range sources. I mean. and even scorned by many. I don't. Governor Huckabee: It may kill me up--in other states. Tim Russert: This may help you in Virginia.

which she does by saying "Chee. Video games include squirrel characters such as Rare's Conker series starring Conker the Squirrel. the nowdefunct Florida band called For Squirrels (who claimed that they performed their music for squirrels). Rodney and Leon and Darlene from Squirrel Boy. chee. che-chee. Pattertwig in C. Squirrel Girl. Slappy Squirrel of the Animaniacs. Bullwinkle's adventuring partner.. thanks to its agreeable appearance. chee. Nutz. and Rocky. Bubbles from The Powerpuff Girls cartoon has the superhero ability to communicate with squirrels. Nutty from Happy Tree Friends. intelligence and its eating styles and habits. Perhaps the first cultural reference to a specific-named squirrel is Ratatoskr. chee. such as Scrat from Ice Age. Benny in The Wild. There is even a squirrel-themed superheroine. and even a record label with the name Blank Squirrel Musics. Squirrels are also popular characters in cartoons. There are also numerous references to squirrels in the music industry. a mythological Norse squirrel that carries messages by running up-and-down the world tree Yggdrasil.. Secret Squirrel. including the North Carolina group Squirrel Nut Zippers. [edit] Albino and white squirrels Further information: Albinism#In other animals Further information: Leucism One of the ways that squirrels impact human society is inspired by the fascination that people seem to have over local populations of white squirrels (often misidentified as .[citation needed] Squirrels are popular characters in many forms of media. Brian Jacques' Redwall series (including Jess Squirrel and numerous other squirrels). and the Starwife and her subjects from Robin Jarvis's Deptford novels.[edit] In culture Further information: List of fictional squirrels Despite periodic complaints about the animal as a pest. Sandy Cheeks from SpongeBob SquarePants. The title character in Miriam Young's 1964 children's book Miss Suzy is a squirrel Literary references to squirrels include the works of Beatrix Potter. the electronica group Techno Squirrels. Michael Tod's Woodstock Saga of novels featuring squirrel communities in the style of Watership Down. The popular Pokémon game includes a squirrel character by the name of Pachirisu. There is also a student-run radio station at Kent State University called Black Squirrel Radio. Lewis' Prince Caspian. and possibly earlier. a children's music group called The Nutty Squirrels. The Ratatoskr myth dates back to the Early Middle Ages. as well as Ocean Software's Mr. general public opinion towards the animal is favorable. Hammy from Over the Hedge.". S. Screwy Squirrel.

[27] .[21] This manifests itself by the creation of social group communities that form from a commonly-shared interest in these rare animals. Welcome sign for Kenton. founded in 2001. Rochester. Tennessee. Other impacts on human society inspired by white squirrels include the creation of organizations that seek to protect them from human predation. including personal identity by belonging to a group. These groups demonstrate classic sociological group dynamics. namely: Marionville. and the use of the white squirrel image as a cultural icon. with a $500 fine for hitting one. and Kenton. including: • The University of North Texas has an Albino Squirrel Preservation Society." is home of the world's largest known white squirrel colony. a number of university campuses in North America have white squirrels. [22] • • Along with Olney. Missouri.[citation needed] In addition to the various towns that boast of their white squirrel populations. Ontario.[25] Stratford. the University of North Texas held a student referendum to name their white squirrel as the university's secondary mascot. North Carolina. and Syracuse). The Olney Police Department features the image of a white squirrel on its officers' uniform patches. In 2006. Wisconsin. however the vote was narrowly defeated by the student body. as well as hierarchical competition between white squirrel groups with each other over which has the best local white squirrel population. Tennessee.[26] and some of the snowbelt cities in the Western. Brevard. each of which holds an annual white squirrel festival. there are four other towns in North America that avidly compete with each other to be the official "Home of the White Squirrel". Ohio.[citation needed] DeForest. Exeter.[24] Dayton. These squirrels have the right of way on all streets in the town.being albino). an example of competition for "White Squirrel Capital". Mississippi. Illinois. Central and Finger Lakes regions of New York state (Buffalo. Connecticut. Some examples of this cultural impact include: • Olney.[23] Other towns that have reported white squirrel populations in North America (although not necessarily at war with other towns to be the "official" white squirrel capital) include Columbia. known as the "White Squirrel Capital of the World. among other things designed to promote their claim of "White Squirrel Capital".

[21] and Youngstown State University in Youngstown. which maintains contact with its members and interested parties through a Facebook group by that name. Kentucky (which has had a population of albino squirrels since the 1960s).[31] Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. a biology professor at Western Kentucky University.[30] Ohio State University in Columbus. Michigan is home to frequentlysighted white squirrels that live on and around the campus. and includes some stories from Michigan Tech alumni that recall seeing white squirrels in Houghton dating back to the 1930s. Note the non-pink eyes. was created for people to post photographs and anecdotes of their encounters with the white squirrels.[citation needed] A true albino squirrel.[21] Dr. The university has an open policy to give away a free t-shirt to anyone who brings a photograph to the administration offices that was taken of an albino squirrel on campus grounds.[21] . Michael Stokes. Note the pink eyes. Ohio. Although these squirrels are commonly referred to as albinos. especially around a college campus or parks. somebody brought them in because they thought it would be neat to have white squirrels around. Ohio.• • Michigan Technological University in Houghton. but I'll tell you how it usually happens. called I've Seen the Albino Squirrel of Michigan Tech. commented that the probable cause for the abundance of white squirrels on university campuses was due to them being originally introduced by someone: We're not sure how they got here.[28] A Facebook group dedicated to these squirrels. [29] • Other university campuses that have albino squirrel populations include Oberlin College in Ohio. The University of Louisville in Kentucky has established its own chapter of "The Albino Squirrel Preservation Society".When you see them. and so technically they ought to be referred to as white squirrels.. A white squirrel. most of them are likely non-albino squirrels that exhibit a rare white fur coloration known as leucism that is as a result of a recessive gene found within certain Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) populations. instead of albino..

England. another biology professor at Western Kentucky University.[35] . Albert Meier. added that: . and at one point it was illegal to release any into the wild.000 cartloads figures prominently in the folklore of rocket festival traditions and the origin of Nong Han Kumphawapi Lake in Northeast Thailand. a group based in Brevard. and the Isle of Wight. A decline of the red squirrel and the rise of the eastern gray squirrel has been widely remarked upon in British popular culture. any caught had to be either destroyed or kept captive. Brownsea Island. allowing those with the proper license to release captured gray squirrels.[34] Currently the red squirrel only resides in a few isolated areas of the UK.[33] Evidence also shows that gray squirrels are vectors of the Squirrel parapoxvirus for which no vaccine is presently available and which is deadly to red squirrels but does not seem to affect the host...[21] A list of white squirrel sightings around the world is maintained by the White Squirrel Research Institute. It is mostly regarded as the invading grays driving out the native red species. is killed by a hunter. Under British law. and in England Formby.Dr. notably in Scotland.[32] [edit] Albino and white squirrels in folklore A story in which a Nāga shapeshifts into a white or albino squirrel. North Carolina. But on a college campus. In 2008 the law was altered. the eastern gray squirrel is regarded as vermin. Special measures are in place to contain and remove any infiltration of gray squirrels into these areas. they are less likely to be consumed by other animals. [edit] Red and gray squirrels in the UK Red squirrel at a feeding tray in the Lake District. the Lake District. and magically transformed into meat equal to 8. white squirrels rarely survive in the wild because they can't easily hide.