How big do squirrels get?
There are over 200 different species of squirrels. Each species has its own size specification in accordance to its genetic structure.
The world largest squirrel known is the Indian giant squirrel. A typical adult grows up to 1 meter long with a 0.61m long tail and weigh up to 2kg.
The African pygmy squirrel’s body length ranges from 7 to 13cm, tail length of 5 to 6cm and weigh just about 10grams, making it the smallest squirrel in the world.
The Eastern gray squirrel is medium sized, with an average adult recording a body length of between 23 and 30cm, tail length of between 19 to 20cm and will weigh between 400 and 600 grams.
The giant grizzled squirrels are only found in India. These ones can grow up to 50 to 90 long, the tail length included.
The ones found in the southern region are smaller, 20 to 25cm long as compared to those found in the northern region which range from 25 to 30cm in length. This is how one can differentiate the flying squirrels.
Factors that influence the growth rate of a squirrel
• Water Essential to every living thing, the squirrel is no exception. They do not necessarily live in water but they do need water for digestion hence growth. 70% of their body is just water.
• Temperature Squirrels record the highest masses during the warm seasons due to the high abundance of food. Also they take the most food to aid their reproduction and sustain them when they go for hibernation. In winter, when they hibernate, squirrels loose too much weight and will record the lowest masses during this season.
• Food When there is an abundance of food, it is inevitable for squirrels to grow as big as they can reach unlike when there is scarcity of food intake, for instance during autumn and winter respectively.
• Wild vs. Tamed Squirrels that live in the forest or other natural ecosystem have a tendency to not grow as big as those that live in captivity or close to human settlements. This is because those that are tamed are well fed as compared to the wild ones which have to look for their own food. More food means a high growth rate.
Most squirrels are not solitary and so they live colonies or groups. The number of squirrels within a colony will highly determine how big they can actually get. For the least populated groups, if there is abundance of food, each squirrel can get more than enough as compared to those that have large numbers where each individual might get just enough to sustain them rather than make them increase their body mass.
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How big do squirrels get?
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