Sciurus niger

(fox squirrel)

Image Caption:
A pregnant fox squirrel feeds on the green catkins and leaves of an oak, pausing several times to rest.  Pregnancy is a demanding time for female squirrels.  For a litter of three, during the approximately 45 day gestation period (Havera, 1979, p. 963), she will have to produce on average five percent of her body weight in newborn mass (Average Mass: Hayssen, 2008, p. 865; Newborn Mass: Havera, 1979, p. 963).  Most squirrels, birthing their first litter in February or March (Steele & Koprowski, p. 108), gather the extra energy and nutrients in time of late winter dearth, but by going so give the young more time after they are weaned to mature before winter comes again.

<<  Pregnancy and Gestation  >>

Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger rufiventer) Pregnant eats Oak Catkins

Works Cited:

Havera, S. P.  (1979).  Energy and nutrient cost of lactation in fox squirrels.  The Journal of Wildlife Management, 43:958-956.

Hayssen, V.  (2008).  Patterns of Body and Tail Length and Body Mass in Sciuridae.  Journal of Mammalogy.  89(4):852-873.

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

Image Location: United States, South Dakota, Brookings
Image Date: 2009MAY15

Image Species: Sciurus niger rufivente
Sex: Female
(EXIF information is accurate, stamped in UTC time).

Web Page and Pictures By Hannah Leitheiser
Updated: 2009JUN24