Sciuridae
Sciurus niger

(fox squirrel)

Image Caption:
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.

<<  Functions of a Squirrel Tail  >>

Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger rufiventer) Tail

Works Cited:

Steele, M. A. & Koprowski, J. L.  (2001).  North American Tree Squirrels.  Washington and London: Smithsonian.  (University of Arizona Link).

Image Location: United States, South Dakota, Brookings
Image Date: 2009FEB16
Image Species: Sciurus niger rufiventer

(EXIF Information is accurate – stamped in UTC).


Web Page and Pictures By Hannah Leitheiser
Updated: 2009FEB18