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Worldwide view[edit]

While there have been - evidently unresolved - discussions over what this article actually should cover (see this; also worth noting that a merge tag remains on Sciuridae), the fact remains that it, no matter how you look at it (all members of Sciuridae [in which case these two articles should be merged], Sciurini [in which case these two articles should be merged] or only species where "squirrel" is an actual part of the name), this article lacks a worldwide view, as there, in all options I can think of, still would be a majority of species found outside USA/Canada. In fairness, of course, there currently is a brief mention of squirrels in Britain, and a very brief mention of species found elsewhere in the intro, but that barely broadens the overall perspective. Where are all the African, Neotropical and Asian species? If someone think there should be an article largely about US/Canadian species, it should be on "Squirrels of USA and Canada" or something like that ("North America Squirrels" might also be a good idea, but then people should remember the numerous species from Mexico & Central America). Regardless, the current squirrel article remains problematic. • Rabo³ • 02:14, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm a US English speaker on the west coast and the idea that ground squirrels weren't just as much squirrels as tree squirrels surprised me. In common usage of the term squirrel, I think many English speakers would see every member of Sciuridae as a squirrel except the marmots and the prairie dogs that he might see as members of the squirrel family but not necessarily squirrels. The point is that in my experience as an English speaker there is an almost complete overlap between the word squirrel and a member of the Sciuridae family. So based on that I would reluctantly agree with the above that the articles should be merged. But I enjoyed both articles and I wouldn't like to see the flavor of either article lost. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Davefoc (talkcontribs) 18:18, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

This is best solved on the disambiguation page. Meet me at the squirrel (disambiguation) Discussion page and we'll sort this out in a general way quite quickly. We may or may not need an umbrella article called "squirrel" at all. Chrisrus (talk) 00:10, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
The thing is, some people grow up with squirels, chipmonks, a--Davefoc (talk) 02:08, 13 April 2010 (UTC)nd woodchucks in our backyards and never see "ground squirrels", leading them not to think of them not to come to mind when thinking of the word "squirrel". People in places with lots of "ground squirrels" correctly think of a definintion of the word that is limited to "tree squirrel" as just plain wrong.
We have the "tree squirrel only" definition listed at the disambiguation page as a legitimate alternative definition of the word "squirrel" because is cited as an alternative definition. I don't see how those who use this definition wouldn't instantly concede when they learn about ground squirrels that are obviously also squirrels. Therefore, I wonder if we shouldn't remove the "tree squirrel only" defintion from the disambiguation page, leaving only "all Sciuridae" and "Sciuridae minus marmots, chipmonks, etc. Chrisrus (talk) 01:20, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
I tend to agree that the "tree squirrel only" definition of squirrel is suspect. I'm a 60 year old native English speaker that has lived most of his life on the west coast of the US, so perhaps my experience doesn't exactly apply since if a "tree squirrel only" definition exists it is probably an east coast of the US definition. The "tree squirrel only" definition is the first definition listed in the entry, but Merriam Webster doesn't include the "tree squirrel only" restriction at all with the definitions in their entry for squirrel. I noticed that disambiguation page added the word, commonly, to the "tree squirrel only" definition. From my perspective, commonly, is particularly suspect because in my 60 years I don't think I've ever noticed the word, squirrel, used to specify that "tree squirrel only" was the intent of the writer. I wonder if somebody could find any usage examples where somebody has used the word, squirrel, to specifically restrict their meaning to tree squirrels or tree squirrels and flying squirrels. --Davefoc (talk) 20:31, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes. For example, I live in Troy, NY. In my backyard, we have "woodchucks", "chipmonks" and "squirrels". In this context, the word means "tree squirrel", yes, but that's only because I don't live on the west coast, where I would identify as "squirrels" that are ground squirrels, so "squirrel" will include "ground squirrel". I say go ahead and try to fix the "commonly" problem you describe. Chrisrus (talk) 20:45, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
I reworded the dab page. Does that work for you? Ucucha 20:47, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it does, though I tweeked it a bit. Everyone feel free to look at it some more with the above discussion in mind. Chrisrus (talk) 21:25, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
FWIW, I think the DAB page is good. Congratulations to Ucucha and Chrisrus. Although, I quibble a bit with the opening sentence: "Squirrels (Sciuridae) are a family of rodents." Squirrels are not a family of rodents, they are small mammals. I would prefer something like this: "Squirrels are small rodents in the family Sciuridae". --Davefoc (talk) 02:08, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
Why are squirrels not a family of rodents? They are, overall, relatively large rodents, so I don't think your sentence would work. Ucucha 02:09, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
My main point is semantic. Squirrels are not a family. Squirrels are animals. I believe the sentence is semantically incorrect. Yes, it is probably obvious that the writer intends to say that Squirrels are animals in a particular family but that is not what the sentence says. I would change the sentence to make it semantically correct, but I both don't feel that strongly about it and perhaps the usage is correct and I am just unfamiliar with this kind of usage. As to small or large, I agree. I would drop the word small from my sentence.--Davefoc (talk) 02:37, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
I see your point now. I don't see a problem with the wording myself (or with similar sentences like "birds are a class", "bats are an order", "chipmunks are a genus"), but I reworded the lead sentence to address the issue. As I now see, I actually used your proposal. Ucucha 02:42, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

210 mill. years old squirrels . or what? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:49, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

Not squirrels, but proto-mammals that may have looked like squirrels because they had tails. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 22:26, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Range map[edit]

Here is a national geographic range map of squirrels: [1] It would be quite easy to copy this map and add it to this page, using the Template:Taxobox travb (talk) 18:15, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree the distribution map would add something to the article but wouldn't the use of the map be a copyright violation? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Davefoc (talkcontribs) 18:23, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
The map is misleading. Squirrels are absent from most of arctic Canada and Russia (but are present in the tundra of Alaska). In South America, Chile and most of Argentina lack squirrels. Source: maps in Squirrels of the World. I don't have the graphics skills to make a map. It would be interesting to overlay maps of the different subfamilies so you can see holarctic tree squirrels live in north temperate and New World tropical regions, but only ground squirrels live north of tree line or in the desert. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 02:43, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

Does the average English speaker think that the range of the word, squirrel, is restricted to the genus Sciurus?[edit]

This sentence was added:

In the English-speaking world, squirrel commonly refers to members of this family's genera Sciurus and Tamiasciurus, which are tree squirrels with large bushy tails, indigenous to Asia, the Americas and Europe

This could be true, it is different than what this 59 year old native English speaker understands the word to mean. However it is consistent with the first definition given in some dictionary definitions. One problem with those definitions is that the average English speaker probably doesn't know the difference between a genus and a phylum so the idea that the average English speaker has some kind of formal taxonomic definition in mind when he uses the word strikes me as problematic.

I think the genera mentioned was an attempt to describe what matches what the average English speaker thinks of as a squirrel, it doesn't imply he is consciously using the genera as a guideline. Also, I think there are two "squirrel" usages here. There is what one might think of a generic squirrel (which will depend on where one lives...grey, red, etc), then there are things one might see as kind of squirrel but require special qualification (flying, ground, etc.). I think that quote attempts to capture the former.--Ericjs (talk) 05:52, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

An on-line National Geographic article uses the word in the way that suggests they don't see it as in anyway restricted to a particular genus.

Squirrels are familiar to almost everyone. More than 200 squirrel species live all over the world, with the notable exception of Australia.

The tiniest squirrel is the aptly named African pygmy squirrel—only five inches (thirteen centimeters) long from nose to tail. Others reach sizes shocking to those who are only familiar with common tree squirrels. The Indian giant squirrel is three feet (almost a meter) long.

Maybe this is a west coast/east coast thing or maybe it's a European/American/Canadian English speaker difference that I wasn't aware of.

I notice that there are not any native ground squirrels in Massachusetts and perhaps not on the American and Canadian East coasts and ground squirrels don't seem to occur in the UK. Does that mean that speakers from these areas tend to limit their ideas of squirrels to tree and flying squirrels? Maybe. My thought though is that if they came to the North American west coast and saw a California ground squirrel they would just see it as a squirrel that lived in a burrow instead of a tree. However, I suspect that the average English speaker may or may not see Marmots, prairie dogs and chipmunks as squirrels. They might see them as members of the squirrel family but I doubt that they would see those animals as squirrels without some thought.

In summary, maybe the sentence is OK, it does say "commonly refers to" which doesn't mean that the word, squirrel, doesn't commonly refer to a wider range of animals also. Perhaps the sentence could be amended to something like this:

In the English speaking world the word squirrel commonly refers to arboreal squirrels (genera Sciurus, Syntheosciurus and Tamiasciurus) and flying squirrels but squirrel also is used commonly to refer to most members of the squirrel family (Scuidae).

Davefoc (talk) 18:40, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

  • When someone says "squirrel" you think of ... (wait for it)... a squirrel. I could see confusing a chipmunk for a squirrel, but a marmot? I don't think so (at least not the fat waddling marmots we have where I live). Perhaps in the scientific community this is the case, but in the world at large, "squirrel" refers to squirrels. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:53, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
In British English there is certainly no restriction of "squirrel" as suggested. Squirrels to us include tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, flying squirrels etc – though in fact you are right Davefoc, we do only get tree squirrels here. In general use "squirrel" includes the whole family Sciuridae. And yes, of course marmots and chipmunks are squirrels. If this claim is true anywhere, we need to say where – with refs to support it. Richard New Forest (talk) 18:57, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
What I meant is that scientifically marmots may be a member of the squirrel family, but this article is about the specific animals commonly referred to as squirrels. Of course the association between these animals should be mentioned, but we have seperate articles on the marmot, chipmunk, and prarie dog so there's no need to cover them here other than a mention of their relation to the common squirrels. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:03, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
I was not talking scientifically, but about common usage in Britain. "Squirrel" is the BrEng common name for any member of the squirrel family. We need a clear ref for any different interpretation – which (if true anywhere) must surely be a local dialect form. If I'm right about that, the following text would cover it: "in some regions the word 'squirrel' may be restricted to tree squirrels". Richard New Forest (talk) 12:27, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Hi, Beeblebox, I agree, I think. And what I said above agrees I think: They [average English speakers] might see them [marmots, prairie dogs and chimpmunks] as members of the squirrel family but I doubt that they would see those animals as squirrels without some thought.

My issue was whether the average English speaker would not see ground squirrels such as the California ground squirrel as squirrels. In my west coast world I have never heard them referred to as anything but squirrels. Until I spent a bit of time editing the wikimedia pages on squirrels I wasn't aware that the ground squirrels and tree squirrels were as far apart taxonomically as they are. But I didn't know that marmots were even in the squirrel family until I read about it.

I was making the above comments as Richard New Forest was making his. I think his input as a British English speaker is valuable and it seems like Beeblebox was just objecting to the inclusion of marmots and prairie dogs as squirrels in this article. As I noted above, this English speaker didn't even realize that marmots were part of the squirrel family until fairly recently. Perhaps my words most members of the Scuridae family is what beeblebox objected to. I used the word most rather than all because I was thinking of the marmots and prairie dogs. Perhaps my suggested sentence could be amended to:

In the English speaking world the word squirrel commonly refers to arboreal squirrels (genera Sciurus and Tamiasciurus for instance) and flying squirrels but squirrel also is used commonly to refer to most members of the squirrel family (Scuidae). Although, many English speakers would not see Marmots and Prairie dogs (which are placed in Scuridae) as squirrels.

I agree with Richard New Forest that some references are required for the above. I think that they can be found.Davefoc (talk) 19:17, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

It is probably worth pointing out that this article has an image of a golden-mantled ground squirrel in it.Davefoc (talk) 19:31, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

  • I grew up the midwest, and there a variety of tree squirrels there. When I moved to Alaska, I noticed the squirrels were smaller, but it took me a while to realize that most of them were ground squirrels. Of course that's just me. I noticed the mantled squirrel, that looks an awful lot like a chipmunk to me. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:48, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Article content and title[edit]

We are getting a little bogged down with the word "squirrel". The principle in Wikipedia is for each article to be about one "thing". We then decide what the best name is for that thing. Looking at this and related articles, it becomes clear that we have duplicate articles:

The first of these three must be a duplicate of one of the others, and at the moment it looks clear to me that we need at least one merge. What about splitting the current article (squirrel) into the other two, leaving a dab for the two dialect meanings of the word "squirrel". Any other thoughts? I see that there is already a merge tag on Sciuridae proposing a merge of that into squirrel, but there is no corresponding tag on squirrel, nor a discussion section here on the merge. Richard New Forest (talk) 12:27, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

I think you are addressing what is the more significant issue Richard New Forest. The title of an article about Sciuridae (squirrel family) should be titled Sciruidae, so I think the general Sciuridae stuff that is relevant and not redundant in this article should be merged into the Sciuridae article.
After that somebody needs to figure out what this article should be about if it has a purpose at all. Some possibilities:
  • A short article discussing the range of the world squirrel (your dialect meaning article essentially I think).
  • An article restricted to tree squirrels (Maybe covering tribis Sciurini (Sciurus,Syntheosciurus, Tamiasciurus, etc.)). ETA: I just reread Richard New Forest's comments and realized that this article already existsTree squirrel. So if anything the tree squirrel specific parts of this article that arent' redundant and that are relevant should be merged into the tree squirrel article.
  • An article focused more on the human/squirrel interactions such as pets, hunting of them, pests and pest control, and their use as food.
I just noticed that there is a sister wikipedia for "simple English". Apparently the idea is to create a Wikipedia aimed at younger readers or readers looking for a simpler handling of topics than is typical of the English Wikipedia. Maybe some of this article would have use there.
One thing that should happen is that the authors of the Sciuridae article need to be brought into this discussion. I think I'll post a note over there that a discussion about the fate of the Squirrel article and a possible merge with Sciuridae has started here.Davefoc (talk) 18:47, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
Wow, I had no idea there was a Sciruidae article. Given the overlap these two articles should be merged. I think we should combine these two, but split off all content specifically on tree squirrels and ground squirrels into their own articles, leaving the main article as a general overview and a disambiguation page. If anyone has any template crafting skills, there are enough articles here for a navbox template between the articles on squirrels, prairie dogs, and marmots. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:49, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
I guess I missed that there are already several navboxes, maybe too many. They can be seen at the bottom of Sciuridae Beeblebrox (talk) 21:57, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

According to MSW3, EOL, ADW and TOL Sciuridae are known as squirrels. Therefore, Sciuridae should be merged into this article and there should either be a hatnote or a sentence in the lead (like the one at the moment) that mentions the use of squirrel to refer to tree squirrels and ground squirrels. Squirrel (disambiguation) should link to Squirrel, mentioning the article is about the genus, tree squirrels and ground squirrels. If there is no opposition I will merge the articles in the next few days. Jack (talk) 21:27, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea. Also, making the dialectal discussion of "Squirrel" the disambiguation page is perhaps the best option. Sillyfolkboy (talk) (edits) 02:31, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

That sounds good to me Jack. The idea has been around long enough and there hasn't been any significant objection I think. What we lacked was a volunteer.Davefoc (talk) 04:07, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

White Squirrels and other abnormalities[edit]

Not mentioned is a small colony of white squirrels living in Trinity-Bellwoods Park in Toronto Ontario Canaada (a small nearby street has even been named after them, White Squirrel Way). Debate exists as to whether these are true albinos or if their appearance is due to a different genetic mutation. While black squirrels with white tips are mentioned in the article, I have not seen these but have seen many, many black squirrels with rust-coloured fur on their back ends that varies in colour (sometimes lighter, sometimes darker) and extension (sometimes appearing on only the tips of the tails, sometimes extending halfway up the body).

Also not mentioned in the article are grey squirrels with ringed tails, which have recently been identified in Toronto and across the United States (New York, New Jersey, California, Louisiana, Missouri, Minnesota, Washington, South Carolina; see the second update and the comments to the blog posted here: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:05, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Squirrels are also women/men who are on the nutts, mainly women who are obsessed with men. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cecewentboom (talkcontribs) 02:24, 6 January 2010 (UTC)


No indication of squirrel longevity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:15, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

I came here looking for the same thing and found nothing. I mean, I don't know squat about squirrels or animals in general. But this does seem to be a very abbreviated Wikipedia entry. I just wonder why people that have made their PhD's etc in this subject have not contributed more than is here. This entry is barren.


There is a large population of white squirrels here on the campus of Western Kentucky University. You can contact pretty much anyone at WKU to confirm this ...

Thanks, Brad Hornal


Disregard the WKU comment. It is mentioned later in the article. I have seen two albino squarrels in Eau claire WI. Illinois holds the worlds largest natural albino colony in the world. There is a distance of decay that is associated with the locations of WI &IL —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:46, 7 May 2009 (UTC)


Disregard the WKU comment. It is mentioned later in the article.


The last sentence reads: Under British law, the eastern grey squirrel is regarded as vermin, and it is illegal to release any into the wild; any caught must be either destroyed or kept captive.

The law on this has changed and squirrels can be release under licence: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:00, 13 April 2009 (UTC)


This reference is out of date (page not found error) - cite web | author=Susan Saliga | title=Backyard Squirrel Feeding Tips | work=Wisconsin Squirrel Connection | url= | accessdate=2007-02-07

This seems to be the updated correct url - Garybhuang (talk) 21:22, 24 April 2009 (UTC) Done

I have updated the article with the accurate UK squirrel law and the broken URL noted above. –Megaboz (talk) 02:17, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

"Most urban squirrels do not reach their first birthday. This is due not to predators, but rather to automobiles." - I find this difficult to believe since it implies far more dead squirrels on the road than what's normally seen in urban squirrel-rich environments. The given reference ( appears to have less credibility that Wikipedia itself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:56, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Predatory Squirrels[edit]

Is there anyone else that thinks the "predatory squirrel behavior" section should be moved to the Wikipedia article about Thirteen-lined ground squirrels? It makes it sound like all squirrels are vicious killers when most squirrels only eat the occasional grasshopper due to hunger. It's good information. I just think it's in the wrong place. I'm not going to move it without consensus though. What do you guys think? Maurajbo (talk) 00:20, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree. It is worth mentioning that some squirrels are carnivorous, but the article goes into too much detail about the eating habits of one particular type of predory squirrel. –Megaboz (talk) 02:12, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
The grey squirrel commonly found in Britain is frequently carnivorous, regularly eating eggs and nestlings of birds as well as other small animals it can catch. The red squirrel also does this. It looks to me as if the examples given are particular studies of more general squirrel behaviour, rather than descriptions of two (not one) exceptionally predatory species. It therefore looks to me as if that material does belong here.
However, the stuff about the dog is not supported by the ref and looks highly exaggerated at the very least (perhaps one or two squirrels were chewing on a dead dog, but many squirrels did certainly not kill a large dog and carry off parts of the carcase!). I don't think it tells us much about the diet of squirrels generally, so I've removed it. Richard New Forest (talk) 09:48, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

WikiProject Rodents[edit]

This is a notice to inform interested editors of a new WikiProject being proposed at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Rodents --ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 02:05, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Prevost's Squirrel[edit]

(Callosciurus prevosti) "Provost Squirrel is also known as the tricolored squirrel, the prevost's squirrel is strikingly colored, with black, white, and reddish-brown bands down the length of the animal." [1] The provost squirrel is usually found in the lowland forests of Borneo and Thailand. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Em299207 (talkcontribs) 14:10, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

This species is covered by its own article: Prevost's Squirrel (Callosciurus prevostii). I don't think it needs a mention in Squirrel, does it? Richard New Forest (talk) 15:06, 3 July 2009 (UTC)


I was wondering how far a person needs to haul a squirrel away to keep it away? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:19, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm no expert, but I've faced this problem before. A couple of miles ought to do it. They aren't big homing animals and probably won't be back unless there's just no where else for them to go. They are most concerned with getting food, it seems, and other squirrelly things, which doesn't seem to include getting back to their home territory. I'm talking about Eastern Grays. Chrisrus (talk) 02:48, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Red/Grey hybrid[edit]

Can Red Squirell and Grey Squirells cross breed —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:38, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

If you're talking of the two species found in Britain, no, but I've heard the suggestion that male grey squirrels may chase male reds away from the female reds. Richard New Forest (talk) 18:03, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

We live in central Ontario and have both black, grey and red squirrels and have observed the black squirrels for several years sitting on a stone pathway, selecting a stone after checking out several and then heading either to our septic bed to bury the stone or out into the bush and then returning later for more. There does not seem to be any food cache where they leave the stones. Is the behaviour usual and why do they do it.? Have other people observed it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:57, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Squirrel vaccines?[edit]

The section on the eastern gray mentions "the Squirrel parapoxvirus for which no vaccine is presently available". Is this mention of vaccines a mistake, or have I somehow missed the fact that we commonly inoculate wild rodents? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:11, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Can someone post info on article and reply here when done?[edit]

How much do they stay in their nests to conserve body heat in the winter? Thanks. Imagine Reason (talk) 18:34, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Albino squirrel discussion[edit]

I had an edit reverted by the XLink bot in a way that I believe is not fair. As a result, I left a note in the XLink's talk page, and am doing so here, in order to explain why I am re-editing the text back into the article that the XLink removed.

The text in question was regarding my reference to a Facebook group, which put up a red flag that alerted the XLink bot to come here and remove it. After deliberating on it in an objective way, and after reading through the Wikipedia policies regarding this, I've decided to put the reference (and the text) back into the article.

What this reference was in regard was about where I wrote about a cult following in and around the Michigan Tech University campus in Houghton, Michigan, where an albino squirrel has become locally famous and inspired the creation of an online group where people post stories and photographs of their albino squirrel sightings. In referencing this cult phenomenon, I included a link to the web page where these stories and photographs are posted, which happens to be a Facebook group. The bot reverted my edit because of the Facebook link, which I believe was a legitimate use for the reference. I will go ahead and place the link to the Facebook account back, and if anyone has a disagreement with me about it, let's discuss it, either here or on my Talk page. --Saukkomies talk 00:15, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Saukkomies, I've reverted your edit again. A link to a Facebook group is not a sufficiently reliable source (otherwise we'd have rather a lot of them, don't you think?). Furthermore. the occurence of a single albino squirrel is just not of sufficent notability to be mentioned in this overview article. Franamax (talk) 00:39, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
So, U. of Texas, which has just one albino squirrel, gets mentioned, but not Michigan Tech U.? Isn't that a bit unfair? And the link to Facebook is not meant as a reliable proof of the squirrel's existence, it is a reliable proof of the cultural impact of the albino squirrel on the community. This is further support for this entire section of the article. I plan on putting the edit back in unless a better line of logic can be presented, since otherwise it appears to be treating one academic institution in a more favorable manner than another, each of which has a group dedicated to an albino squirrel on its campus, but one gets to have its name mentioned, and the other is told to buzz off. Nice.... --Saukkomies talk 02:38, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
So, I've included a newspaper quote substantiating the existence of multiple albino squirrels on the campus of Michigan Technological University. If you have a problem with that, Franamax, then you'd better go take a walk and get a grip on reality. I have no idea where all the bother and fuss over this issue that you seem to have is coming from, but if you want a fight, I'm willing to take it up a notch and contact an admin. --Saukkomies talk 04:08, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Could you please stay a bit more civil, Saukkomies? There appears to be a legitimate disagreement about the suitability of some facts in this article. There is no need to contact an admin; I am one, and will be watching this discussion. Ucucha 04:16, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Have you seen the section in question? It lists five other campuses across North America that report having albino squirrel populations. So, I add another one - and I get blasted as a result! Not just once, but twice reverted. And I know for a fact that there are albino squirrels at Michigan Tech, because I almost ran over one on my way to work one morning. The Facebook group that I originally included was only meant to illustrate that there is a cultural impact on the community here in regards to the local albino squirrel population - of course it's not a "reliable" source, but it is proof of the cultural impact, and that is the whole thesis of that section - it is the cultural impact that albino squirrels are having on their communities. I feel like I am being singled out for mis-treatment over this issue - why do all the other campuses listed get to mention their albino squirrels, and not MTU? Of course I'm torqued, this is unfair. --Saukkomies talk 04:24, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
No, you're not being singled out. I've reftagged the section, I'll wait a little while then clean out at least anything unsubstantiated. The whole section is a mess and I question its existence at all. Why does our worldwide readership care which American university campuses have albino squirrels? The content just reflects the fact that many Wikipedia editors are university students. This is a typical problem with all "In popular culture" sections, they become dumping grounds for trivia. The answer is not to "fight" to include your own piece of trivia, it's to clean the whole thing up. Franamax (talk) 09:26, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

(margin readjusted)

Okay, it's the next morning, I've had my coffee, I am much more objective about this... I do see where you're coming from on this, Franamax. I suppose my use of the Facebook link was what triggered this whole thing. However, do you see how from my perspective it seems unfair that I get to be the one who is told not to post about albino squirrels on university campuses? At any rate, that's water under the bridge. What I believe is that you're completely missing the entire point of this section of the article. It has nothing to do with whether albino squirrels exist or not - the issue is not related to biology or zoology. The entire point of the section is that it is demonstrating the **cultural impact** that albino squirrels seem to have on human society. This makes it an anthropological and sociological issue.

So in this regard it is entirely acceptable and even necessary to cite specific instances where idiosyncratic social groups are formed by individuals who, acting through the processes of Gesellschaft and social interaction, and motivated by the impetus for identity formation, come together to paticipate in community building activities centered around the localized phenomenon of the presence of albino squirrels in their respective neighborhoods. This is one way that albino squirrels play a role in human society. I do hope that you can understand how this is not the same thing as trying to prove whether albino squirrels exist or not (which is what it seems to me that you are focused on here). The fact is that it actually makes no difference from a sociological perspective whether these albino squirrels even existed or not - the point is that they have a **cultural impact** on society - hence the inclusion of this subsection under the larger discussion of the "In culture" section. The fact that you seem to think this section is "a mess" (I use your words) indicates you have no idea of what is going on here. Please do NOT edit out stuff that is beyond your ken simply because you do not understand it.

And, btw, my use of the link to a Facebook group that was formed to post photos and stories of encounters with an albino squirrel (and which is actually quite active as Facebook groups go) was entirely in keeping with providing substantiating and solid support for the thesis of how albino squirrels have a cultural impact on human society. I still am considering whether or not to at some point re-include that link somehow into the article, regardless of any specific person's ability to perceive its value. It is sound academic practice to provide support of a thesis, and applying a rule in a whimsical way just because it is a rule goes against Wikipedia doctrine that states that one should overlook rules when they interfere with the encyclopedic use of presenting the thesis and substantiating it (so long as legalities are not infringed upon, which in this case they are not). --Saukkomies talk 14:18, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

I see, the problem here seems to be the same. Saukkomies, we are not saying that albino squirrels don't exist, or that the facebook page is not proving that; we are not saying that there are no white squirrels on that campus, or wherever, but again, the existence of the facebook group does not proof that. What we here say is, that the existence of a facebook group is not making the fact that they have a local group for it notable. All that type of information is not notable because of its existence, it may be notable if it is covered somewhere else. If I see it that way, only the first paragraph is referenced, and there seems to be enough notability there, the rest has no place there, unless it can be properly referenced.
You wrote:

In Houghton, Michigan there is at least one albino squirrel that lives on and around the campus of the Michigan Technological University, and is frequently spotted. A Facebook group called "I've Seen the Albino Squirrel of Michigan Tech" is dedicated to this squirrel (or squirrels) by local residents and students, and includes photographs of the albino squirrel.

That type of linking is discouraged, and the link to the group is not necessary. It should have read:

In Houghton, Michigan there is at least one albino squirrel that lives on and around the campus of the Michigan Technological University, and is frequently spotted. A Facebook group called "I've Seen the Albino Squirrel of Michigan Tech" is dedicated to this squirrel (or squirrels) by local residents and students, and includes photographs of the albino squirrel.(reference)

(where the reference should point to independent coverage). XLinkBot's revert was hence, according the guideline, and the removal of the text in line with removal of information which is not supported by a reliable source. I hope this explains. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:01, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Beetstra, thank you for your constructive criticism and practical example. I deeply appreciate the time you spent in addressing this issue of concern, which indicates a level of respect I found lacking in the simple "I'm reverting your edit..." messages I was previously receiving on this issue. I do see the difference between the two examples you gave. Since I've already provided a reference from a mainstream daily newspaper article substantiating the existence of these albino squirrels on the Michigan Tech campus, I believe I'll just go ahead and use the text of your example, adding the citational reference at the end. Thanks again, and I hope this matter is now resolved to everyone's satisfaction. --Saukkomies talk 15:38, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
I suppose sometimes work gets done because of annoying reasons, and such is the case here. As a result of the frustration I was encountering over this whole albino squirrel issue, I decided to spend the afternoon reworking that section. I hope my efforts will be received warmly by those who expressed concern over this section, and if anything has been said regarding the events leading up to this reworking that are offensive or rude, I sincerely offer my apologies and offer this result of my labor as proof of my earnestness, and as a possible penance for such.
At any rate, there still are references in the section that are missing, however they are only for claims that were already in the text that had been placed there before I started work on it this afternoon, and I didn't remove them. I did include more information, but I made certain that anything and everything I wrote was backed-up by a solid, reliable source. As such, I decided to remove the tag that was placed on that section warning editors to use valid sources. Instead, I placed some (citation needed) tags on a few of the unsourced claims. --Saukkomies talk 20:07, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

I think it would be helpful to remember that we're writing an encyclopedia. Not all factual information is worth noting, even if sources are available. If there aren't independent, reliable sources available, mention should be kept to a minimum, if we have any mention at all. See WP:UNDUE, WP:RS, and WP:SYN. --Ronz (talk) 20:58, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

And there you have it. I knock myself out for most of a day to try to clean that section up, and what do I get? An expression of thanks? A "Good job, buddy!"? A note of support or actual constructive criticism? Nope. Just a note to shut up. Thanks a lot Ronz. --Saukkomies talk 21:29, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Saukkomies, when you enter a discussion telling people to get a grip on reality and that they have no idea what's going on, you're not likely to get congratulated at the end. No-one at all has told you to shut up, the battlefield mentality is of your own making. We're not here as a mutual back-slapping society or a cage-match martial arts bout, we're trying to write a quality encyclopedia, remember?
Your changes are in fact very good, the section is decently structured and sourced now. Thank you. (Actually I should get the credit, yesterday I said the section was a mess, today it's not, so it must be something I did ;) There is still the open question of undue weight but the section is now well-enough written that I have no particular concerns in that area. Franamax (talk) 23:00, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the decent response, Franamax. I suppose what got my hackles up was having my contribution to the article reverted twice. However, it's all for the best, and although it is perhaps a little long in the tooth, the section is a good one, and worth the read for anyone who has an interest in this sort of thing. I do believe that some people underestimate the value of an in-depth coverage of the impact that the white squirrel has on society. However, there are others who would completely disagree with that summation, and would welcome a factual, well-rounded account of this subject, which is what we have. So, off to my other projects (this was definitely not something I usually am involved in - but I got side-tracked). Ta ta! --Saukkomies talk 00:30, 12 February 2010 (UTC)


Should these pages be merged? Please discuss at Talk:Sciuridae#Merge?. —innotata (TalkContribs) 00:05, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Systemic bias[edit]

Has anyone else noticed the rampant systemic bias in this article? Nine of the ten squirrels pictured are Sciurus (of which at least three are eastern gray squirrels), and I bet that Eleanor Roosevelt's coat was also made of Sciurus squirrels! Clearly there must be some pro-Sciurus POV-pushing conspiracy at work here. Ucucha 03:42, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

(This referred to this version.) Ucucha 05:08, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Squirrels (Sciuridae) are a large family of small or medium-sized rodents.[edit]

The statement "Squirrels (Sciuridae) are a large family of small or medium-sized rodents" needs some tweeking. "Scuridae", doesn't mean "squirrel", it means "the squirrel family of animals". As written it would seem that they two words are synonymous. Words to the effect of...

The squirrel family of rodents, (Sciuridae), is a large family of medium-sized rodents.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chrisrus (talkcontribs)

Nope. At Talk:Sciuridae, I cited various references that explicitly say that "Sciuridae" and "squirrels" are the same. That's why we merged those pages. Ucucha 04:50, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
You also cited references that called it something like "the squirrel family", "squirrels and allies" or "squirrels, chipmonks, and marmots", etc. We both know that "Sciuridae" means "squirrels and their close cousins" because it's a fammily name, and that's what family names mean even when no intermediate form is known. That in and of iteself doesn't mean the merger is wrong, I think it may be the best place to send someone who searches for "squirrel", if only because it's the only taxon that covers all the "true squirrels", even though it also contains close cousins of squirrels that are not ony not called squirrels but arguably aren't quite squirrels, nor likly referents of a search for 'squirrel". The only thing needed is to have this article go ahead and be about the squirrel family and not pretend to be a perfect synonym. Whaddaya say? Chrisrus (talk) 06:35, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
How about now? "Squirrel" is the subject again and I barely changed anything. Nice compromise? Chrisrus (talk) 14:31, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Beyond "bushy"[edit]

So bushy! When describing the features of squirrels, other than calling it "bushy", one of the most prominent features of squirrels, the highly mobile, up-and-over-the-back tail, the feature that gave them their names and distinguishes them from other rodents, the feature the relative size of which may be the best predictor of whether a member of the squirrel family is called a "squirrel" or not; this feature is barely discussed! Especially in comparison to the amount of information given about the minutia of the skull and teeth and other less defining features. How can this situation be improved? What we need, it seems to me, is a good, citable sentence describing the squirrel tail in the lead, and another with the same idea expanded upon more technical language and maybe internal links or some such, at the beginning of the section on morphology. Agreed? Chrisrus (talk) 17:10, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Dstrecker, 30 March 2010[edit]

{{editsemiprotected}} Please add this link to the german language version of the article. de:Eichhörnchen Dstrecker (talk) 08:07, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

 Done and thanks! Avicennasis @ 08:40, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Actually, the correct German equivalent is de:Hörnchen. Eichhörnchen is the name for the red squirrel. —innotata 16:13, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Damn good article[edit]

I have followed the squirrel and Sciuridae article development and I just reread this article for the first time in awhile.

I would just like to congratulate the various authors and editors on a very good job. It is well written. It covers the most important aspects of the subject and the combination of the two articles, Squirrel and Sciuridae, with the addition of the squirrel DAB did a good job on handling the semantic issues related to title and subject of the article.

squirrel nests and feedin[edit]

What can I do to help a squirrel with it's nest? Also, what can I feed it besides peanuts?sunny76.244.190.53 (talk) 22:04, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

You might try putting a pile of sticks leaves and grass you get from raking and instead of getting rid of it, place it somewhere near a big tree that they like. Also,

Google around for a man who makes and sells such things he makes from old tires for this purpose. There also might be other things available on the net. They love birdseed and suet. Good luck! Chrisrus (talk) 00:13, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Main picture[edit]

It is the convention on Wikipedia to use a picture that well illustrates the nature and scope of the referent covered by the article. This article is about the complete squirrel familiy of animals. I am not wedded to this picture, another may do the job as well or better. What is important to me is that the main picture be well-suited to illustrating this fact about this article. Chrisrus (talk) 15:56, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Your arguments are good, but I don't really see why you conclude from that that we should have a woodchuck as the lead image. If we are limited to a single lead image, I think we should try for one species that seems most typical of the family as a whole. Marmots are extremely large, terrestrial squirrels, whereas most are smaller and arboreal. I think a Sciurus squirrel, as there was before, better represents the total diversity of the family. The best might be a composite image, like there is at mammal. Ucucha 17:01, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree that a composite image would be better at summarizing the bredth of the article than just one image. Unfortunately, I don't know how to do that. Barring that, however, I think that showing an exceptional, rather than typical, member of the referent group better illustrates the bredth of an article. In this case, by searching for squirrel and expecting to see a picture of a typical squirrel but instead seeing a woodchuck, a person has been given an instant education and summary of what is covered by this article, which is about the wider squirrel family of animals than the more typical, narrower idea of "squirrel" he or she probably was expecting to see. Nevertheless, who can help develop a composit composite picture showing probably one a tree, ground, a "marmota", a flying, and maybe a chipmonk too? Chrisrus (talk) 23:58, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I can see your point, but I think it makes things a bit too subjective: why not go the other way and show a chipmunk or a flying squirrel instead? Choosing a "typical" member (although that is difficult enough), avoids that.
I think I'll be able to get that together. I think the best way to do that might be to choose one from each of the five subfamilies. We don't have pictures of Sciurillus, so perhaps we can get a Ratufa for Ratufinae, for the Marmotinae a ground squirrel, marmot, or chipmunk, for the Sciurinae a flying squirrel, and for the Callosciurinae a Callosciurus. Taken together, I think that gives a good overview of the width of the family. Ucucha 00:05, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. Thank you for your help! Chrisrus (talk) 00:07, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

I'd suggest the following:

Ucucha 00:19, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Looks good to me. How about at least one big ground squirrel, too, to illustrate a typical woodchuck-like, or marmot-like animal, unusual to many people's concept of "squirrel"?Chrisrus (talk) 00:25, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
I chose the golden-mantled for Marmotinae because it's a featured picture. We do have a giant tree squirrel here (Ratufa). I think these, taken together, already attack the usual concept of "squirrel" pretty well, with a decidedly non-Sciurus-like small tree squirrel, a flying squirrel, and a giant tree squirrel. Ucucha 00:30, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Must it be four? How about six, these four, the one that was there yesterday, and the one that's there now? Or would that be too many? Chrisrus (talk) 00:37, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
We could do six and throw in a marmot and a Sciurus, but I think that would make the composite too big. Ucucha 00:51, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Oh well, do your best, I trust your judgement. Please consider, however, that the most important thing from my point of view is not so much that they be the most diverse group, but they look as widely diverse as we can make it. Also, at least one hyper-typical "squrrel" might be important, one that looks just like the reader might expect one to look. Chrisrus (talk) 00:58, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
I see your point. Perhaps we can put up a few more four- and six-photo versions to see which one would look best? Ucucha 01:10, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Sounds good! Maybe we should let others help choose from amoung them? Thanks again! Chrisrus (talk) 02:42, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

I favor changing the current picture, a woodchuck, for the following reasons: 1. There are several quality images of squirrels in commons. This is a nice image but it is clearly not as good as many others. 2. I'm on shaky ground here, but it seems like in taxonomy that sometimes the higher taxon names are derived from a lower taxon. I'm not sure that's true in squirrel land but Sciurus works its way up the chain to scuiridae so it might be nice to have an image of an organism in sciurus. 3. The woodchuck is not the best choice if the goal is to use a typical animal for the family picture. Woodchucks are somewhat atypical for the group as a whole. I also don't like the idea of a composite image that was suggested above. This is a purely personal reason, but I think they're ugly and I think aesthetics is somewhat important for an encyclopedia article.

Based on the above I'd like to nominate:

--Davefoc (talk) 05:05, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

My point is, do those pictures show what this article is really about? This article is about the wider squirrel family of animals, not what a person from some place like Albany or London thinks of when he or she says "squirrel", a red or grey squirrel or a typical ground squirrel familiar to someone from a place like California or somewhere. Having a woodchuck there makes that point about the article much better than a gray squirrel, which would make the reader think that this article is just about squirrels as he or she knows the term. I'd say a grey squirrel, a flying squirrel, a woodchuck, and a chipmonk would express what this article is about, but I'm from Troy, NY, and I have all four of those in my backyard right now, so I suppose that's why those four express what this article is about to me so clearly. I admit having a woodchuck there is a bit arresting for the reader, but that's the nature and scope of this article. Plus, I disagree that Woodchucks aren't a pretty typical marmot-type of scuirid, or that marmots are not widespread and widely recognized animals, at least in the two northern land masses, they are very common and conspicuous Sciuridae and as such typical Sciuridae. Chrisrus (talk) 15:30, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Hi Chrisrus, Thanks for your post. I did a small survey of what other Wikipedia articles are doing on this issue. I looked at rabbit, cnidaria, deer and perhaps a few others. I didn't see any composite images. The trend seemed to be to pick a quality image of an organism that was a member of the group. I agree that a composite image does the best job of visually conveying what the subject of the article is but, as I noted, I just think they're ugly and I'd rather see that kind of information put farther down in the article where there is more room for different images. That is a completely personal view, but one that seems to not be uncommon in Wikipedia land based on my limited survey.

As to the woodchuck versus some other squirrel: My argument there was on shaky ground, and if there was a great picture of a wood chuck available I'd be fine with that. As it is the image selected is at best an average quality image of the sciuridae images available in commons. If the goal is to pick an image of one of the larger members of sciuridae, I would humbly (some of these are mine) suggest one of the yellow-bellied marmot pictures.

--Davefoc (talk) 18:33, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for your efforts! To get right to the point, I support File:marmot-edit1.jpg. I note that has been a featured image, makes the point of how varied the squirrel family can be very well because it really doesn't look very "squirrely", if you will, and is very amusing picture in my point of view. Chrisrus (talk) 18:59, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

That seems like a good choice to me. Alas, you chose the image that wasn't mine. I am afraid my biases on the issue of which was best prevented objectivity on my part, so I trust your judgment. So this a vote from me for your choice (Marmot-edit1.jpg). --Davefoc (talk) 17:57, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

I noticed that the French Wikipedia article used a composite image like Ucucha suggested. I put it into the article for now. I like Ucucha's 4 image idea better and if there was a consensus around that idea I'd be willing to put a few options together and we could pick one.Davefoc (talk) 16:40, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

I like it! I'd've gone for more extreme examples and less of the central concept, but I do like it. It is possible to do something so that a person who clicks on it will more easily learn what each one is? Chrisrus (talk) 21:05, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

I added mouseover links to the title image. I couldn't identify two of the images so there is no mouseover link associated with them. The montage could certainly do with an update. There are better images now for some of the species included in the montage and I still agree with Chrisrus' long ago comment that the montage should have included more extreme examples of the range of the squirrel family. --Davefoc (talk) 05:51, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

As a food source[edit]

The article seems to be lacking any sort of information about the prevalence / tradition of people eating squirrels. I think this should be added. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:18, 15 May 2010 (UTC)


I don't know how that slipped past, but editors do you schtick! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:42, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

It's true! They raid bird nests, eating eggs and young birds. Actually, it seems to me that I heard about a study that estimated they are a major factor in the survivial rates of songbird broods. I know it seems odd, because we don't think of squirrels as predators or egg-eaters, but they are. Chrisrus (talk) 15:41, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
They do eat them (and they are well known for it in the UK), but they don't lay them – I think this is the edit User: was talking of... It was only up for a couple of hours anyway.Richard New Forest (talk) 22:04, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I see. Sorry, I thought he was talking about their eating eggs.Chrisrus (talk) 13:38, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

quick movements[edit]

How does a squirrel move so quickley? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:58, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Why indeed? Or to put it another way, why are squirrels so ... squirrelly? Why do they move so jerkily and inconsistently? In North America, at least, they are forever running halfway across streets, then reversing direction, and sometimes then reversing back to their original direction. This is especially true in the fall, when scads of them end up as road kill. Sca (talk) 15:59, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Because all the slow ones got eaten? Totnesmartin (talk) 20:38, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Claws like humans[edit]

Is a squirrle's hand like a human's? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:05, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Old English name[edit]

"The native Old English word, ācweorna..." is this word related to acorn? Totnesmartin (talk) 20:37, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

I think not; the OE for "acorn" is æcern according to the OED. Of course, there may be some deeper Proto-Indo-European connection. Obvious cognates to ācweorna are Dutch eekhoorn and German Hörnchen or Eichhörnchen. It seems that the similarities between that word and oak (Dutch eik, German Eiche) and between acorn and oak are solely derived from folk etymology. Ucucha 21:12, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Actually, the Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal says eekhoorn/Eichhörnchen/ācweorna does come from "oak". Ucucha 21:19, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Double thanks for that, and for the quick response to an arcane question! Totnesmartin (talk) 21:57, 30 July 2011 (UTC)


For some reason I can't seem to edit it out, but there's some vandalism just under the feeding section -about not to trust wikipedia. If someone could fix that it would be great. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:53, 14 November 2011 (UTC)


This is, without a doubt in my mind, the most hilarious discussion page of all time. This actually tops the constant bickering about where Middle Eastern foods were created. Atypicaloracle (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 12:18, 29 December 2011 (UTC).

Relations with children[edit]

Most children chase squirrels in an attempt to catch it. It is rare that the squirrel is actually caught.

Henry Worrell 02:03, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Not done: Please express your request in a 'please change X to Y' degree of detail and provide a reliable source for any factual changes. Thanks, Celestra (talk) 16:09, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Many squirrels find themselves caught in enclosed swimming pools. Scientific study suggests, but cannot confirm, that squirrels exposed to such harsh conditions adapt and become amphibians. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:58, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Squirrel Vision or Eyesight[edit]

I am referencing the statement in the article, "As their large eyes indicate, squirrels generally have an excellent sense of vision..." This would seem to be an assumption, and lacks observational evidence. In nature, large eyes usually indicates good low-light vision required by nocturnal animals and birds. On the contrary, I and many others have seen behavior that indicates a squirrel may have difficulty finding or identifying a food source that is very close by. They don't appear to react to small objects that are placed or dropped near them. Instead, they 'sweep' the area, using their sense of smell to identify potential food sources. The article could mention the eyes placed on either side of the head gives the squirrel the ability to see more than 300° around, allowing them to spot potential predators. This also means they have limited binocular vision, and may have difficulty identifying small objects close by.

Imillard58 (talk) 10:31, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

I agree with that. When I throw peanuts to squirrels they hear them hit the ground and search frantically for them, yet they seem to have difficulty finding them even when they're only inches away in plain sight. It's puzzling. (talk) 21:25, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

Impact On Humans[edit]

The article is missing a discussion of the relationship that squirrels have with humans. Are they pests? Do they cause property/crop damage? Etc. (talk) 00:31, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

I can tell you that in urban settings, squirrels will eat the top-surface of the bark of large branches of some hardwood trees like maples. These would be the parts of the branch near the trunk that jut out horizontally before arcing up vertically. They can eat so much of the bark away so as to expose large sections of the heartwood. Because they do this while sitting on the branch, the bark they destroy is not visible to people looking up from the ground. This dammage can (or usually will) weaken long branches to the point where they will either die (because of the reduction in nutrient-transporting bark layer) or mechanical weakness and environmental exposure of the underlying heartwood (ie - the exposed wood will rot and the branch will break). I have personally seen this on sugar maple and horse chestnut trees on branches from 2 to 5 inches in diameter. One remedy to stop such destruction from happening or progressing is to use black tree pruning paint and paint all exposed wound surfaces, and even apply the paint to other large branches that have yet to be dammaged to deter this behavior. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:41, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Hibernation, coprophagia and urine consumption[edit]

I suggest that this article about squirrels should include information such as whether or not (or, which varieties) of squirrels hibernate. For example, 13-lined ground squirrels apparently routinely hibernate, whereas the typical tree squirrel does not - at least not in urban settings.

Whether or not squirrels are coprophagic (eat their own feces) or drink their own urine (as some claim that squirrels frequently do) should also me mentioned. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:31, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Preditors (what animals are typical preditors of squirrels)[edit]

There is no mention in the main article of what animals are natural preditors of squirrels - in either natural or urban settings. Small hawks (cooper's hawk, red-tailed hawks) are known to attack squirrel nests (jump on them repeatedly) to break up the nest and dislodge the squirrels inside in order to capture / kill the squirrel (I have seen this happen in urban settings). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:48, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Etymology: Why is the etymology of "Acorn" included here?[edit]

Why is the etymology of the word "Acorn" (ācweorna, etc. ) included under the etymology of "Squirrel"? It might be appropriate, but it needs some rationale. Otherwise, it should not appear in this entry. I experimentally deleted the paragraph in the etymology section that is for "acorn", and seconds later, it was reverted by a user named Medeis, who said "restore accurate material proper for a comprehensive encyclopedia". My argument is that the etymology for "acorn" should appear under the encyclopedia entry for "acorn" and not under that for "squirrel". I also notice that the word "acorn" does not appear anywhere else in the encyclopedia entry for "squirrel"; it would seem appropriate that the acorn be mentioned under some category such as "Feeding". Nhpeacenik (talk) 15:47, 27 February 2014 (UTC) Nhpeacenik (talk) 18:44, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

This article is phrasing it badly, but one of the given sources says that old English word for squirrel was "ācweorna". This edit expanded on it in 2009, listing cognates in other languages (which I assume all mean "acorn"?) - I can't see that it added anything to do so. --McGeddon (talk) 15:59, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
The word "acorn" does not appear in the article at all, either before or after reversion. Are you perhaps confusing the alternative names for "squirrel" with the name of the tree nut? According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the two groups of words have completely unrelated origins. Reify-tech (talk) 16:04, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
I apologize for being mistaken. The Old English word for acorn and squirrel were slightly different; my mistake. Still, this entry could be edited for clarity as to why the derivation of an archaic word that is/was a synomnym for "squirrel" is being included. I may make an attempt to do so. Nhpeacenik (talk) 16:48, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
I was confusing the alternative European names for squirrel with the name of the tree nut, because the article was only saying "here are some cognate words in other languages" and I don't speak any of them! I've clarified that they are cognate words that also mean squirrel. --McGeddon (talk) 16:54, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Squirells- large, medium, small furry mammal. distinguishing characteristics- small scratchy claws used for climbing trees and digging for food (foraging). Long expressive, bushy, tail, used in balancing and for warmth. Squirrels are often eaten by Small predatory mammals such as foxes, and large predatory birds such as hawks. Squirrels diet consist mainly of bears, llamas, unicorns and frogs. Unfortunately they ate all of the unicorns, so they replaced them with kitten toes. A squirrels behaviour can be very varied, but usually they are calm unless they see horses, they hate horses. Squirrels will, at any cost, kill a horse for its liver to enjoy with some fava beans. In fact, horse liver with fava beans, is an ancient delicacy eaten by squirrels as tradition on their birthdays, started by the elder squirrel, Rudolph Hitler. Harold123321 (talk) 23:45, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

How squirrels can fall from great heights and live[edit]

Curious. I've witnessed it. In a park, from a four-story tree, I heard a loud THUMP, a grey lump BOUNCED perhaps six feet in the air, then a small bounce, and it lay there for just a second, shook like crazy for maybe 15 seconds or so, then hopped along as if nothing happened. Wonder how they live. Also, check out this video.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 13:38, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

In Ireland?[edit]

I have been told that there are no squirrels in Ireland. Can anyone confirm or deny this please? SmokeyTheCat 20:21, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 30 June 2017[edit]

Add more general information (talk) 23:19, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. —MRD2014 00:44, 1 July 2017 (UTC)

Considering squirrels as a family Sciuridae is a double standard.[edit]

The whole family Sciuridae are considered squirrels, when only squirrels that look similar to squirrels like red squirrels or gray squirrels are actual squirrels, squirrels are not prairie dogs, chipmunks and marmots all of which are considered squirrels on that wikipedia Article even though they are not. Biologists, get your facts straight, no person with healthy eyes is going to say that chipmunks, prairie dogs and marmots are squirrels and consider that you are dealing with a scientific area known as taxonomy, WHEN THE TERM SQUIRREL IS APPLIED TO A TAXONOMIC RANK SUCH AS SCIURIDAE (WHICH MEANS THAT ITS IRRELEVANT WHICH CREATURE PEOPLE IN EVERY DAY LIFE CALL SQUIRREL WHETHER ITS A MARMOT, CHIPMUNK, ACUTAL SQUIRREL) THE UNWRITTEN RULE IS THAT ONLY THE ACTUAL SQUIRRELS CAN HAVE AN ARTICLE THAT IS NAMED "Squirrel". If you accept the way things are you are accepting a double standard. Because many other rodents are categorized and are not lumped together into one creature, rats (Rattus) and mice (Mus) for example are not one animal, even though they look similar. Rats and mice belong to the family Muridae, but the article on family "Muridae" is not called "Mouse", only the genus Mus article is called "Mouse", thats why this is a double standard.


There is a chance of confusion. I myself have personally confused them before, as they look similar. Comfycozybeds (talk) 16:10, 24 September 2017 (UTC)