OK, so I lied about yesterday being the best holiday. Because today actually is. Know why? Because it’s SQUIRREL APPRECIATION DAY!!!!
That’s right, a whole day devoted to loving our little fwuff friend, The Squirrel! So, in honor of this magnificent occasion, here are some fun squirrel facts, courtesy of squirrels.org and squirrelnet.com:
- Squirrels can jump up to 20 feet. They have long, muscular hind legs and short front legs that work together to aid in leaping.
- The hind legs of squirrels are double-jointed. This helps them run up and down trees quickly.
- A male squirrel can smell a female in heat up to a mile away. Mating season is February through May, with a 44-day gestation period. Typically, two to four young are born per litter.
- Squirrels have five toes on their back feet and four toes on their front. Their front toes are very sharp and help in gripping tree bark when climbing.
- In addition to residing in the eastern U.S., eastern gray squirrels can be found in many Western states, Great Britain, Ireland and South Africa.
- Squirrels are found on every continent except Antarctica and Australia.
- Squirrels can eat their own body weight (around 1.5 pounds) in food every week.
- Squirrels can fall up to 100 feet without hurting themselves. They use their tails both for balance and as a parachute.
- The hibernating arctic ground squirrel is the only warm-blooded mammal able to withstand body temperatures below freezing.
- Squirrels’ eyes are positioned in such a way that they can see some things behind them.
- The word “squirrel” means “shadow tail” in Greek.
- There are more than 365 species of squirrels in seven families, including the tree squirrel, ground squirrel and flying squirrel.
- In the summer, squirrels are most active two to three hours after sunrise, and then they rest in the afternoon. They usually resume activity two hours before sunset. The squirrel will retire to its nest well before dark and will rarely leave the nest at night. In the winter, the squirrel will complete its activities between dawn and mid-day, then will remain in or around the nest until the next day.
- The squirrel’s erratic path while crossing a street is an attempt to confuse the oncoming vehicle in hopes of making it change direction. Unfortunately, this is often the squirrel’s biggest – and last — mistake.
And here are some adorable photos of squirrels from around the world! What a great day!
So, if you haven’t already, be sure to go hug your neighborhood squirrel! You’ll be happy you did!
Unless you end up like this guy. But hey, it’s totally worth the risk!