Fun Squirrel Facts for Kids

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  • Squirrels are rodents in the Sciuridae family.
  • Animals in the Sciuridae family include squirrels, chipmunks, woodchucks and prairie dogs.
  • There are around 280 species of squirrel.
  • Squirrels live in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
  • The most common squirrel in America is the gray squirrel.
  • The word squirrel comes from the Greek word Skiouros meaning “shadow tail.”
  • Squirrels are mammals.
  • Squirrels are omnivores.  Omnivores are animals that eat both plants and meat.
  • Squirrels like to eat nuts, fruits, seeds, tree bark, roots, insects and caterpillars. Sometimes they will eat baby birds.
  • A squirrel’s four front teeth never stop growing.
  • Their teeth get worn down when they chomp on nuts and tree bark.
  • Squirrels have bushy tails and pointed ears.
  • Squirrels have excellent eyesight.
  • Their hind legs are double-jointed. That helps them run up and down trees.
  • Squirrels have five toes on their back feet and four toes on their front feet.
  • Their front toes are very sharp.  They use their front toes to grip the tree trunk.
  • Squirrels build nests called drey.
  • Squirrels like to build nests in holes of tree trunks.
  • Some squirrels can run up to 20 miles per hr.
  • Squirrels can jump 20ft.
  • Squirrels communicate with each other by making chirping sounds and by tail movements.
  • Flying Squirrels don’t actually fly.  They extend their arms and legs and leap and glide from tree to tree.
  • Flying Squirrels can leap up to 150 ft.
  • Flying Squirrels are nocturnal.  Nocturnal means active at night.
  • The smallest squirrel is the African Pygmy Squirrel.
  • African Pygmy Squirrels are only 5 inches long and weight .5 – 1 ounce!
  • Baby squirrels are called kittens.
  • Kittens are born blind.
  • Kittens drink milk from their mother 3 months.
  • When squirrels are frightened they run back and forth and in different directions for confuse their predators.
  • Squirrels predators are hawks, owls, fox, raccoons and snakes.
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