Did you know today is International Squirrel Appreciation Day? At JoJo, we have always loved celebrating our nutty woodland friends in our children’s collections. Today, we’re celebrating them on Little Extras, sharing some fun facts about squirrels to teach your kids – what they eat, how they escape predators, how they stay warm in winter and more!
1. Smells nutty...
It’s no secret that squirrels love eating nuts. But, did you know they can tell if a nut is ripe just by smelling it? Their sense of smell is so strong that during winter, some species of squirrel can smell food under a foot deep blanket of snow.
2. Expert climbers
If you’ve ever taken a stroll around Battersea Park, you’re sure to have seen a squirrel darting up a tree to escape the eagle-eyed dog below. How do they make it up trees so fast? They have the unusual ability to turn their feet 180 degrees to get the best grip and higher speed.
3. More than you know
You’ve likely seen or at least heard of the Grey and American Red squirrel, but there are more than 200 species of squirrels out there! They fall into 3 categories: tree squirrels, ground squirrels and flying squirrels. Other species include the Mountain Tree squirrel, Northern Flying squirrel and Pygmy squirrel.
4. About the tail
Just as with lizards, squirrels can lose their tails when attacked by predators, giving them an extra chance to escape. Although the tail is important for balance, defence, communication and other purposes, squirrels can survive without it.
5. Long teeth
Squirrels have 4 front teeth that never stop growing. They will gnaw on nuts and seeds to keep them at a comfortable length.