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Adults weigh around 125 grams (4.4 oz). All have a long round tail and long, hairy hind feet. They have no fur markings, instead having a uniform sandy color, which matches the soil they burrow in. The underside of their body is usually a lighter shade. Round tailed squirrels average 204 to 278 millimetres (8.0 to 10.9 in) in length including the tail which is from 60 to 112 millimetres (2.4 to 4.4 in) long.
They prefer flat, open areas with sandy soils where they can dig burrows. They are very social squirrels and live in colonies similar to prairie dogs. Young males leave the colony, while young females remain in the colonies to which they were born.