Sciuridae
Sciurus niger
(fox squirrel)

Image Caption:
A fox squirrel clips the stem of a sugar maple (Acer saccharum) with his teeth while holding the seed.  Every seed has a slightly different foraging technique.  And although some technique elements are likely either instinct or something the animal figured out on its own, the eastern gray squirrel’s technique of removing the taproot from an acorn has been shown to be learned from other squirrels (Koprowski, 1994), so possibly other techniques are also learned from other animals.

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Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger rufiventer) Clipping Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) Seeds

Works Cited:

Koprowski, J. L.  (1994).  Mammalian Species:  Sciurus carolinensis.  The American Society of Mammalogists.   (University of Arizona Link).

Image Location: United States, South Dakota, Brookings
Image Date: 2008DEC19
Image Species: Sciurus niger rufiventer
Tree Species: Acer saccharum

(EXIF information is accurate – stamped in UTC).

Web Page and Pictures By Hannah Leitheiser
Updated: 2009JAN01