About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The World's Largest Squirrel

At the end of summer, as I watch the woodchuck fatten up for hibernation and the chipmunks and tree squirrels gather nuts to eat throughout the winter, it got me wondering about the biggest squirrel. 

There are eight members of the squirrel family living in mid-Michigan. The Eastern Chipmunk is the smallest Michigan squirrel at about 8-10 inches long and only 3 ounces. The Woodchuck at 30 in long and 31 pounds is the largest squirrel in Michigan.

But there are more than 200 squirrel species that live in almost every part of the world. The family Sciuridae includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, and flying squirrels.

Tree squirrels have long, bushy tails, sharp claws and large ears. Flying squirrels have a furred membrane extending between the wrist and ankle that allows them to glide between trees. And ground squirrels generally have short, sturdy forelimbs that are used for digging and tails that are not as bushy as tree squirrels.
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Right now the tiniest recorded squirrel in the world is the African pygmy squirrel at only 2 ½ inches long from nose to tail and an average of ½ an ounce in weight.
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The Indian giant squirrel is the largest tree squirrel and is native to India. Their body is over a foot long and their tail is an amazing 2 feet long. This makes them over 3 feet from nose to tail with an average weight of about 4 pounds.

Related Articles: 
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- Why are Squirrels Called Squirrels? http://bit.ly/yhktkr 
- How many species of squirrels are in Michigan? http://bit.ly/yYt6Nb 
- How high can squirrels jump to bird feeders? http://goo.gl/XuvwNe
- Found! New squirrel species discovered. http://goo.gl/LUxzA0

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad we have the squirrels we have. Around EL they are either gray or black maybe with a little brown. Your average squirrel.