Squirrels use their tail for many purposes, including maintaining balance when leaping or running, communicating with other squirrels, and attracting mates. They also wrap their tail around their body to keep warm during cold weather and cool off when it's hot by pumping more blood through it.
While the average lifespan of squirrels in the wild is around 5-10 years, squirrels in captivity can live significantly longer, with some species living up to 20 years or more with proper care.
Marmots are large ground squirrels and are the heaviest members of the squirrel family, with a total length of up to 72 cm and a body mass of about 11 kg in the larger species.
Contrary to most mammals, tree squirrels can descend a tree head-first by rotating their ankles 180 degrees, which lets their hind feet grip the tree bark from the opposite direction.
Squirrels can be found in almost any habitat except the driest deserts and high polar regions.
Squirrels' teeth continually grow throughout their life, and they need to gnaw on hard objects to keep them sharp and prevent overgrowth. If squirrels don't wear their teeth down by chewing, they can become too long and cause serious problems.
Squirrels can eat a variety of foods, including fruits, nuts, seeds, and insects. They need a balanced diet. However, they should avoid foods that are toxic to them, such as chocolate, caffeine, and anything containing high levels of sugar or salt.
Squirrels can efficiently adapt to urban environments and gradually lose their inherent fear of humans. This is due to the reliable source of food and shelter provided by urban areas. They can thrive in human environments and may even become too bold in their search for food.
The earliest known squirrel fossils dating back to 40-35 million years ago are similar to modern flying squirrels. Their ancestors, small tree-dwelling mammals from the time of the dinosaurs, evolved into the diverse group of squirrel species we see today.
Squirrels have been the cause of many power outages. They can cause electrical disruptions by chewing through wires, which is not only damaging to the electrical system but also a risk of electrocution for the squirrels. Companies try to prevent this by installing protective coverings, but disruptions can still happen.