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Rock Squirrel, image by Tadam and used under a GNU Free Documentation License

Name: Squirrel
Size: They very in size greatly, depending on the type and age of the animal. A squirrel is one of many small or medium-sized rodents in the family Sciuridae. The Sciuridae family also include flying squirrels, as well as ground squirrels such as the chipmunks, prairie dogs, and woodchucks.
Food: Squirrels' diet consists primarily of a wide variety of plant food, including nuts, seeds, conifer cones, fruits, fungi and green vegetation. However some squirrels also consume meat, especially when faced with hunger. Squirrels have been known to eat insects, eggs, small birds, snakes and rodents.
Behavior: Urban squirrels have learned to get a great deal of food from over-generous humans.Squirrels are generally clever and persistent animals. In residential neighborhoods, they are notorious for eating out of bird feeders, digging in planting pots and flower beds to pull out bulbs which they chew on or to either bury or recover seeds and nuts and for inhabiting sheltered areas including attics and basements. Squirrels use their keen sense of smell to locate buried nuts and can dig extensive holes in the process. Birds, especially crows, will watch a squirrel bury a nut and will dig it up as soon as the squirrel leaves. Although expert climbers, and primarily arboreal, squirrels also thrive in urban environments. Squirrels are sometimes considered pests because of their propensity to chew on various edible and inedible objects. This characteristic trait aids in maintaining sharp teeth, and because their teeth grow continuously, prevents over-growth. Homeowners in areas with a heavy squirrel population must keep attics and basements carefully sealed to prevent property damage caused by nesting squirrels. A squirrel nest is called a "drey". Squirrels are often the cause of power outages. They can readily climb a power pole and crawl across a power line. The animals will climb onto transformers or capacitors looking for food. If they touch a high voltage conductor and a grounded portion of the device at the same time, they are then electrocuted and cause a short circuit that shuts down equipment. Squirrels are also responsible for burrowing into sensitive earthworks such as dams and levees, causing a loss of structural integrity which requires diligent maintenance and prevention. Squirrel burrowing activity has sometimes resulted in catastrophic failures of these structures.

Some Links to information about squirrels:

Photo Credits:
Squirrel - Tadam (GNU Free Documentation License).

The information on this page was taken from Wikipedia under a GNU Free Documentation License unless otherwise noted.

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