Squirrel, Sciurus vulgaris
||Tree squirrels live
and make their nests (dreys) in trees. They are very good
at climbing and jumping and their toes, with their sharp
claws are well adapted for clinging to tree trunks. They
feed mainly on seeds but will take a wide variety of
foods, including birds eggs.
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The teeth and jaw muscles of
squirrels are relatively unspecialised and they have one or two
premolars in addition to the three molars (Dental formula: I 1/1,
C 0/0, P3/2, M 3/3). Cheek teeth are rooted and low crowned.
The post-cranial skeleton is
adapted for climbing and leaping. The bones are light, but the
hind limbs are long and disproportionately heavy. The feet are
plantigrade with long toes (reduced thumbs) and long curved
claws. The tail is used for balance, signalling and
Squirrels have sharp eyesight
and wide vision - the entire retina has the sensitivity
most mammals possess only within a small area (fovea).