26 Jul Bold Beasts: 5 Amazing Facts About Squirrels
As you may have noticed from our books about Esquire and Rufus, we’re quite keen on squirrels here at Bold Beasts. Being based in the northwest, we’re lucky enough to be a short drive away from several green spaces where squirrels thrive, including Formby Point, home of Rufus the Red.
Although squirrels are incredible cute, they’re not just a pretty face – check out these five interesting facts about squirrels!
1. Their teeth never stop growing
This is a very common trait in rodents, and squirrels are no exception – their teeth continue to grow for their whole lifespan, meaning that they have to gnaw on hard surfaces to keep them at a manageable size. This is no big deal, because gnawing is kinda what they do best.
2. They’re a lot more crafty than you might think
Everyone knows that squirrels bury nuts to dig up later on during the cold winter months. But did you know that they also pretend to bury them to throw off food thieves? When a squirrel is burying a nut, he never knows who is watching. Often, rival squirrels and other rodents will watch from a distance, wait until the first squirrel leaves, then swoop down and pinch it. The busy squirrels are well aware of this, which is why they engage in ‘deceptive catching’ to throw food thieves off the trail. Clever, eh?
3. Squirrels have a special zig-zag run to escape from predators
Although we see squirrels as adorable little critters, it’s a big bad world out there, and there are plenty of larger birds who see them as lunch. However, as we’ve already said, squirrels are smarter than you’d think. Somewhere along the line, they figured out that the best way to avoid predators was to make a quick run in a zig-zag formation, thereby decreasing the predator’s chance of being able to catch its prey. It’s similar to the way that human beings under sniper fire are advised to run in a zig-zag line, in order to stop the sniper getting a clear shot.
4. A newborn squirrel is about an inch long
As you can see from the picture above, newborn baby squirrels are incredibly tiny and unfeasibly cute. Because of this, they are extremely vulnerable to predators, as well as the elements. So, if you find one of these adorable critters in the wild without a parent in sight, do the right thing and save them! Here is some advice on what to do if you find yourself in that situation.
5. They plant a lot of trees (by mistake)
This is one of nature’s ‘happy accidents’. Although squirrels bury an awful lot of nuts during those busy months, they usually don’t end up collecting all of them back. This means that a lot of them end up growing into trees! So there you have it – squirrels are not only cute, but good for the environment, too.
We hope you’ve learned a little something about our furry friends today. Did we miss any good ones out? Let us know in the comments!
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