Squirrel have claws

Latin name: Sciurus vulgaris
English name: Red squirrel
French name: Écureuil
Class: mammal
Order: Rodents
Family: croissant
Size: 15-21cm, max.400g
Habitat: forests rich in undergrowth
The European squirrel can be easily recognized by its long, bushy tail. It weighs 200 to 400 grams, the head-trunk length is 15 to 21 centimeters. The tail can be up to 20 centimeters long. It is an important aid when climbing and jumping, because it is used for balancing and as a rudder. The squirrel always keeps its tail up when it runs. It is considered a sole walker: As with the great ape, the whole foot touches the ground from heel to toe when running.

Squirrels are invertebrates

The four fingers and the stunted thumb of the front paw are studded with long claws. They offer a good grip when climbing smooth trunks. The five toes of the hind paw also have claws. The claws - with the exception of those of the fifth rear foot - are easy to recognize on the footstep. The squirrel usually moves by jumping: the larger hind paws are placed in front of the smaller front paws.

The squirrel has the teeth of a rodent. The coat is variable, there are all colors from light red to brown-black. The ventral side appears white or off-white. The winter fur is thicker, and they are also in winter Ear brush longer pronounced and the bare soles of the feet persistent.

The claws offer a good grip when climbing.

Squirrels are found in almost all of Europe and northern Asia. They live up to an altitude of 2000 meters. In North Asia they prefer coniferous forests, in Central Europe they also live in deciduous and mixed forests. They are often found in parks and gardens, as they benefit from the food supply of human culture there. The squirrel climbs excellently - even upside down - and moves jumping from tree to tree. It can move on very thin branches and jump up to five meters.

Squirrels can also climb upside down.

To sleep it builds a nest in forks of branches. This so-called Kobel is built with twigs, needles and leaves and is well padded inside with mosses and grasses. Usually several goblins are built, they have at least two loopholes, one of which always points down, as the squirrel visits the goblin from below. The squirrel is active all year round and does not hibernate. Squirrels mostly live as solitary animals, only during the mating season in January and February do the males pursue the females in the treetops in wild chases. Sometimes several animals also use one goblin, then the older and larger animals have a privilege to use it. The female gives birth to up to six young. As nestlings, they are naked, blind and deaf at birth and are dependent on the rearing and care of their mother. They leave the nest after six weeks. The females give birth up to three times a year. On average, a squirrel lives three to four years old, and in captivity it can reach ten years.

The front paws are used when eating.

Squirrels feed on seeds, nuts, berries, acorns, mushrooms, insects, eggs or young birds. In contrast to humans, they also tolerate poisonous seeds such as those of the yew tree. Nuts like walnuts or hazelnuts are opened with ease. The rodent gnaws a hole in the nut with its lower incisors and then uses it as a lever. This is how the nut pops up. When eating, the food is held in the front paw. When working on a spruce cone, the cover scales are torn off and the nutrient-rich seeds exposed. The squirrel eats up to 100 spruce seeds per day. The Squirrel workshop can usually be found on a tree stump or on another elevated point. The rest of the pin shows frayed plucking and gnawing traces. Mice gnaw the cones more carefully and they never work on tree stumps, but always in cover. Squirrels, on the other hand, always want to keep track of things.

Squirrel workshop on a mossy stump

If necessary, the squirrels hide their food as winter supply in tree hollows or in the ground. Since some storage places are forgotten again and again, the hidden seeds germinate. This enables natural afforestation of the forests. Enemies include pine marten, wildcat, eagle owl, hawk and buzzard. Younger inexperienced animals are also eaten by weasels or house cats. On the British Isles and Italy, the gray squirrel introduced from North America is challenging the squirrel for its habitat. The gray squirrel is more successful because it is easier to find the hidden winter supplies and is less susceptible to parasites. However, it is run over much more often on the road because it is more careless

Gray squirrel Sciurus carolinensis In scotland