You can't escape them. They're everywhere. On trees, running through the tall grass, and across roads. On posters hung up in classrooms of North American schools. They dig and bury just to dig and unfold what was hidden days, weeks, or months before. They are so popular that they have a designated day. That's right! January 21 is National Squirrel Day! With more than 265 species of Squirrels worldwide, you could say they're popular.
Iowa alone houses at least 4 different kinds of tree squirrel including, the Fox Squirrel, the Eastern Grey Squirrel, the Red Squirrel, and Southern Flying Squirrels, and their relatives such as the woodchuck and chipmunk.
But why exactly are these little critters so popular? Maybe it's because they are incredibly adorable, or because they are fun to watch as they chase each other around our front yards. Here are seven fun facts about squirrels and why we love them so much!
1. Squirrels can find food buried beneath a foot of snow. Have you ever had trouble finding something, especially in the winter? If you could smell it, I bet you could find it. That's what Squirrels do! They dig a tunnel in the snow and follow the scent to then find whatever is buried. Sometimes hiding their food doesn't always work out for them. Squirrels may lose 25% of their hidden food to thieves. They even fake bury to through off potential thieves.
2. Speaking of snow, in the winter, squirrels get chunky to stay warm. They spend less time foraging outside their dens. Sometimes they even share dens with multiple squirrels as a way to stay warm.
3. Squirrels are very trusting animals and are one of the very few wild animal species that will eat out of a person's hand.
4. The Squirrel is a Native American symbol of preparation, trust, and thriftiness as they are all of those things.
5. There are 44 species of Flying Squirrels, but instead of flying, some of them glide using a membrane which stretches from their wrists to their ankles.
6. The smallest Squirrel is called the African pygmy squirrel. It is 10 cm long. How cute?! The largest Squirrel is the Indian giant squirrel and it is massive at 3 feet long! Wow! That is massive!
7. They're fast, too! Squirrels can run up to 20 miles per hour!
Honestly, I didn't know Flying Squirrels lived in Iowa but after googling them I have seen them around. They're cute, that's for sure! Thanks for joining me! See you next time!!
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/10687551@N02/6371011485/in/photolist-aGZ6KB-FVHHU4-kw6m8B-oDEfQn-bEoZ2i-bq57FV-c8jdyJ-dmBU7B-oLEP7J-f36Tv2-Jey99J-7eFJeb-e55N6A-88EPHa-9yjiVG-iLaG4f-aBSher-pS1cGL-qtZRD6-bEoZ2t-axPrR3-f3m8YU-cwdNmA-dvkYiA-8WdxUM-pvuHMH-bEP4e4