Animal Wisdom: Connecting People and Animals
A blog encouraging deeper relations between people and animals.
The Squirrel Family: Cooperation
In the Northern Hemisphere, autumn is approaching. One sign is Squirrels gathering nuts for the winter. As a species, Squirrels live worldwide in Asia and Africa as well.
When people think “Squirrel”, they generally think of the tree-dwelling variety. Squirrels, however, come in three main groups–Tree Squirrels, Ground Squirrels, and Flying Squirrels. The defining characteristic of a Squirrel, a Squirrel is their bushy tail. Their family name Sciuridae means “shade-tailed”.
Tree Squirrels have the bushiest tails. Tree Squirrels use their tails for balancing and steering when They jump from branch to branch. Active during the day, Tree Squirrels chase each other through the trees, look for nuts, and work on their nests (dreys). They bury nuts and seeds in the ground for future use. Any nuts one Tree Squirrel does not eat, another Tree Squirrel will eat.
Ground Squirrels include Chipmunks, Prairie Dogs and Marmots. Ground Squirrels rarely climb trees. Instead, They often live in colonies in a complex system of burrows. A Prairie Dog town contains thousand of residents living in sleeping quarters, with their own nurseries and latrines. Extremely adaptable, Ground Squirrels will live near people.
The third kind of Squirrel is Flying Squirrel, who glides through the air using a flap of skin between his front and rear limbs. Pushing off from a tree branch, He stretches out his arms and legs and glides to another branch. Unlike other Squirrels, Flying Squirrels is active at night.
Squirrel Family teaches cooperation. Some forms of Squirrel cooperation are obvious such as building a Prairie Dog town. Tree Squirrels warn other Squirrels of approaching enemies. A more subtler form is Tree Squirrels burying nuts not only for Themselves but also for other Squirrels. Squirrels cooperate with each other in a variety of ways. Learn how to cooperate with others from Squirrel Family.
- (Prairie Dog drawing copyrighted by Maryann Sterling.)
Squirrel Family’s Wisdom Includes:
- Sensitivity to Your Surroundings
- Having a Warm and Cozy Home
- Putting Things in Order
- Being Productive
- Discovering New Things
- Agility and Being Quick
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