Rodents are a row of mammals characterized by a single pair of constantly growing incisors in both the jaw and mandible. About 40% of mammal species belong to them. They occur in large numbers on all continents except Antarctica. They constitute the most diverse range of mammals. They are found in a variety of terrestrial habitats, including anthropogenic. They include arboreal, hollow and partly aquatic species. Is a squirrel a rodent?
The common squirrel is a rodent of the squirrel family, which is very popular. It comes in two varieties: red with a white underside and black-brown, also with a white belly. Specimens with intermediate coloring are also found. At the ends of the ears there are usually bunches of hair. The tail is covered with long, protruding hair, arranged in two strands. Black squirrels are more likely to be found in the mountains and in the north. Marten, birds of prey, are natural enemies. It is a huntable mammal, not of great importance. Common squirrels moult in spring and autumn. The fur thickens for the winter.
It lives in the nests of birds or builds them themselves from grass and small twigs and covers it with mosses, and keeps its supplies in the hollow. He builds nests in the treetops, usually at the fork of branches. These sockets have one entry hole. It is active during the day. Her food is seeds, shoots, mushrooms, fruits, but also insects, eggs and chicks. It accumulates food reserves, e.g. by burying seeds – thus contributing to the spreading of tree seeds. It was also observed that on the branches of trees it dried mushrooms. The long, fluffy tail plays an important role during jumping – stabilizes the direction of flight. Sharp claws help her climb trees.
Pregnancy lasts 38–39 days. The female gives birth to 2 to 7 young in one litter. Usually gives 2-3 litters a year. The young are born blind, they open their eyes only after a month. The mother feeds them with milk for 8 weeks. They mature sexually after 10-12 months of age. The squirrel lives in the wild for about 5 years.
Area of occurrence
It occurs in Europe and Asia in deciduous and coniferous forests, as well as in parks and tree stands. It is common throughout Poland, mainly in parks and deciduous forests.
Information on protection
In Poland, it is subject to partial protection. In the British Isles and northern Italy, the common squirrel is endangered due to the expansion of the gray squirrel, an invasive species imported from North America. It displaces the native taxon competing for environmental resources and because of the lethal spread of squirrel poxvirus virus for the squirrel.