One of the first squirrel features a person notices is the long tail. But what's the function of the squirrel's tail? Although there are many, a squirrel's tail primarily (1) counterbalances when moving through trees (Steele & Koprowski, 2001), (2) insulates and regulates temperature (Steele & Koprowski, 2001), (3) communicate to other squirrels and predators (Steele & Koprowski, 2001), (4) is used as a rudder when jumping, (5) increases drag when falling, and (6) distracts predators from the rest of the squirrel, permitting the squirrel time to get away.
Steele, M. A. & Koprowski, J. L. (2001). North American Tree Squirrels. Washington and London: Smithsonian. (University of Arizona Link).
Location: United States, South Dakota, Brookings
Image Species: Sciurus niger rufiventer
(EXIF Information is accurate – stamped in UTC).
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