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Fox squirrel

Sciurus niger

Description:

The squirrel's total body length measures 45 to 70 cm (17.7 to 27.6 in), tail length is 20 to 33 cm (7.9 to 13.0 in), and they range in weight from 500 to 1,000 grams (1.1 to 2.2 lb). There is no sexual dimorphism in size or appearance. Individuals tend to be smaller in the west. There are three distinct geographical phases in coloration: in most areas the animals are brown-grey to brown-yellow, while in eastern regions such as the Appalachians there are more strikingly-patterned dark brown and black squirrels with white bands on the face and tail. In the south can be found isolated communities with uniform black coats. To help with climbing, they have sharp claws, developed extensors of digits and flexors of forearms, and abdominal musculature. Fox squirrels have excellent vision and well-developed senses of hearing and smell. They use scent marking to communicate with other fox squirrels. "Fox squirrels also have several sets of vibrissae, thick hairs or whiskers that are used as touch receptors to sense the environment. These are found above and below their eyes, on their chin and nose, and on each forearm."

Habitat:

Eastern fox squirrels are most abundant in open forest stands with little understory vegetation; they are not found in stands with dense undergrowth. Ideal habitat is small stands of large trees interspersed with agricultural land. The size and spacing of pines and oaks are among the important features of eastern fox squirrel habitat. The actual species of pines and oaks themselves may not always be a major consideration in defining eastern fox squirrel habitat. Eastern fox squirrels are often observed foraging on the ground several hundred meters from the nearest woodlot. Eastern fox squirrels also commonly occupy forest edge habitat.

Notes:

Also known as "eastern fox squirrel" and "Bryant's fox squirrel." Info taken from - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox_squirre...

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Aaron_G
Spotted by
Aaron_G

Davis, Oklahoma, USA

Spotted on Sep 13, 2011
Submitted on Jan 9, 2012

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