WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – ARCH CREEK MEMORIAL PARK, FL
Photograph of a Gray Squirrel taken in Arch Creek Memoria Park, North Miami, Florida using a Nikon D80 and Tamron 28-300mm lens.
Squirrels typically have slender bodies with bushy tails and large eyes. Their fur is generally soft and silky, although much thicker in some species than others. The color of squirrels is highly variable between and often even within species.
The hindlimbs are generally longer than the forelimbs, and they have four or five toes on each foot. Their paws on their forefeet include a thumb, although this is often poorly developed. The feet also have a soft pad on the underside.
Squirrels live in almost every habitat from tropical rainforest to semiarid desert, avoiding only the high polar regions and the driest of deserts. They are predominantly herbivorous, subsisting on seeds and nuts, but many will eat insects, and even small vertebrates.
As their large eyes indicate, squirrels generally have an excellent sense of vision, which is especially important for tree-dwelling species. They also have very versatile and sturdy claws for grasping and climbing. Many also have a good sense of touch, with vibrissae on their heads and limbs.
Squirrels breed once or twice a year, and give birth to a varying number of young after three to six weeks, depending on species. The young are born naked, toothless, helpless, and blind. In almost all species, only the female looks after the young, which are weaned at around six to ten weeks of age, and become sexually mature at the end of their first year.