If you like forest walks or wildlife, you can have the chance to see cute animals such as squirrels. Squirrels must live in nature and if you prevent this, you can lead to a shorter life span, but you have a lot of questions about squirrels. For example; What is the lifespan of a squirrel or What do squirrels like to eat? Let’s go too deep into our article for find to answers…
The ancestor of our squirrels is called Paramys and lived more than 50 million years ago. In the mammal group, the squirrels belong to the rodents. The croissant family is at home almost everywhere on earth. A distinction is made between gophers, flying squirrels, and tree squirrels.
Our European squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) is a tree squirrel. In Europe, it is only missing on Iceland, in southern England, in parts of the Iberian Peninsula, and on the Mediterranean islands.
The European squirrel only exists in nature in red, brown, and black. Albinos with white fur appear very rarely, but they are often blind and deaf.
Squirrel Fur Colors
Do squirrels fur change colors? Yes, Squirrels are not one color. While the underparts are white, the hair color darkens towards the back and turns yellow to brown. Fur colors change during winter.
- Pied forms only occur inbreeding.
- The squirrel changes fur twice a year.
- The hair change in spring runs from the head over the back and the sides of the body to the thighs, the autumn hair change runs in the opposite direction, starting at the base of the tail and moving towards the head.
- The ears and tail change their hair only once a year.
- Squirrels live in Europe at all altitudes up to 2200 meters. In general, it can be said that in the higher areas, more squirrels with dark brown to completely black fur live. This is attributed to the higher fat diet (e.g. pine seeds). In lower-lying and warmer areas there are more brown to very light red squirrels.
- the squirrel wears a thick coat with grayish mottled flanks and long ear brushes In winter.
- In summer the fur is a little lighter than in winter and it has no or only very small ear brushes.
What do squirrels like to eat?
Squirrels are omnivores. The food of the animals varies depending on the season. It consists primarily of berries, nuts, and other fruits and seeds. Squirrels build supplies for the winter in the fall. For this, it is important that they find enough food to fill the stores. This does not always succeed; many of the animals may starve to death in severe winters.
They either bury the food in the ground, often near tree roots, or stow it in cracks in bark or forks of branches for winter storage. They do not store any supplies in the Kobel.
In winter, the supplies are often the only source of food. If the buried supplies are forgotten, the seeds will begin to germinate in spring. That is why the squirrels are said to play an important role in the renewal and rejuvenation of the forest. The sense of smell is very important for finding the food you have collected in autumn. Even if squirrels memorize some of their buried supplies, they are not able to memorize all the hiding spots.
Squirrel Habitat and Nest (Kobel)
The squirrel lives in old forest stands with a closed canopy. This can be a coniferous or mixed forest. If there is enough food available, squirrels can also be found in parks and gardens as adaptable “cultural followers”.
Squirrels spend most of their lives in the tree canopy. Here they mostly build in forks of branches, spherical nests called goblins. The nest is woven from twigs and soft materials such as grass and moss are padded.
A Kobel has a diameter of approx. 30 – 40 centimeters. It has one or two entrances or two nest rooms. Sometimes squirrels also use tree hollows, spacious birdhouses or they rebuild crow or magpie nests. The life expectancy of a squirrel
The lifespan of a squirrel
The life expectancy of a squirrel average is three years. Squirrels rarely live to be seven years old, in captivity they can be up to ten years old. A squirrel has little lifespan but; is very active.
Squirrels do not hibernate. However, they sleep in their Kobel for up to 22 hours a day. They usually only leave this to get food. If the weather is particularly bad, such as persistent frost, they cannot be seen for days.
If you love Parakeets, you can read our article on the lifespan of parakeets. https://petanimalworld.com/parakeet-lifespan/
Why do squirrels fall out of the Kobel?
Here are a few reasons why people find young squirrels:
- The nest may have been destroyed by attacks by enemies or by cutting down trees.
- Sometimes the mother throws sick or handicapped young animals out of the nest herself.
- The mother lets her young fall into another nest during transport because she was disturbed, e.g. by a hawk attack.
- The Kobel was not built to be stable enough and cannot withstand rain and wind.
- If the mother does not return home, the young animals, if they are too hungry, begin to crawl around in the nest and fall out. Unfortunately, a baby squirrel has an even shorter lifespan.
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