Hey, Squirrel Lovers!
Today’s Squirrel Appreciation Day. There are plenty of squirrel lovers in the world—and why wouldn’t there be? There’s a lot to love about these unique, furry creatures. Just a little shy of 300 species of squirrels, they come in all kinds of colors, sizes, locations, and character! There’s a lot to learn about them too! For instance, they never stop growing their teeth! Without the constant growth of their teeth, they’d wear those suckers out with all their chomping! And without all their chomping, their teeth would grow from here to Timbuktu.
This time of year, squirrels flex their sense of smell to locate all the nuts they buried a few months back.
Squirrels follow their nose to the burial sites of all their snacks which means being able to smell nuts that may be a foot below the wintry surface! In order to do so, squirrels need an olfactory sense comparable to dogs (or even better in the case of some breeds).
Sorting for Snack-Time
Depending on the surroundings and good of a year it is, squirrels will gather anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 nuts each fall and sort them into categories of their favorite kind, how well they can sniff them out, how big they are, etc.. This way they can recall what kind of nuts are buried where and retrieve the kind they want with ease come the winter.
Squirrels are notorious thieves. Each season, a squirrel is estimated to lose about a quarter of the nuts they buried in the fall. Studies have actually found that squirrels will dig holes only to pretend to bury nuts—just in case any other squirrels are watching!
Take some time to appreciate squirrels today. It probably won’t be hard to find some in your own backyard or local park. An organization called Project Squirrel asks citizen scientists to observe and record the number of squirrels they see in their backyards, parks, or anywhere else. You can make your own report when you click right here. Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day and, as always, thanks for reading!