Monday, May 18, 2009

Squirrel, up close and personal

This is the same squirrel that I showed yesterday.  My wife, two sons and I had stopped to watch him and the squirrel seemed as curious about us as we were of him.  As one son and I were taking photos, he jumped around to take a better look at us.

I mentioned yesterday that there were only 5 species of squirrels in Costa Rica.  When most people think of mammals in Costa Rica, they think of monkeys, sloths, jaguars, olingos, coatis, and other exotic tropical animals, not squirrels.  

As rodents, squirrels are members of the most prolific type of mammals.  43% of the 4,050 known species of mammals are rodents, and there are more rodents alive than all other mammals combined.  There are rodents on all continents except Antarctica and Australia.

Unlike some other mammals, male squirrels are not territorial.  They will forage for food in the same area that other squirrels seek food.  Squirrels are also not particularly territorial when it comes to mating.  According to my Costa Rican wildlife book, 4 or more males will chase a female for several hours  until the female selects her mate.  Sounds like a bad scene from a sports bar.

12 comments:

Abe Lincoln said...

I love squirrels. Ate lots of them when I was growing up during the war. It was meat. Now, I am paying that debt back and have been for decades by providing them food and lodging, if they want it, plus nut trees.

brattcat said...

Ahhh, I've finally figured out that Tamarindo Dave and beautiful Phoenix Julie are a team. I must be thick as a brick to have taken this long putting two and two together. This squirrel is far more clever than I.

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

Abe,
Your comment about eating squirrels reminds me of one of the legends of Davy Crockett. The pioneers used to eat squirrel, but the expert marksmen would try not to shoot the squirrels because of the damage to the meat from the bullet. The expert marksmen would try to shoot and break the small branch that a squirrel was standing on and that would cause the squirrel to fall to the ground, where the pioneer would kill the squirrel by some other means.

Davy Crockett was so well known for being a good shot that when he was walking in the forest one time and he spotted a squirrel on the small branch at the top of a tall tree. He took aim, and the squirrel looked down and saw him. The squirrel then said, "What a minute. You're Davy Crockett, aren't you?" Davy Crocket responded, "Well, yes, I am." The squirrel then replied, "Save your ammunition. I'll climb down."

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

Brattcatt,
You are correct, but there is no need to feel outwitted by a squirrel. It is confusing because we divide our time between Arizona and Costa Rica and therefore do the Daily Photo blogs about both places.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

cute

B Squared said...

They look so different from ours.

Jarart said...

Looks like he's waiting for a handout. Cute little guy.

Jacob said...

I tried to take a photo of a squirrel yesterday but by the time I got my camera out, the little sucker was gone.

I said, to no one in particular, "Oh, rats!"

JM said...

This is fantastic! Gorgeous compositon and really cute fellow!

Stu said...

There are lots of rodents in Australia actually. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Australian_rodents

David said...

Stuart,
OK, if there are rodents in Australia, then I guess that proves that my Costa Rica Wildlife Book authors and editors know more about Costa Rican wildlife than they do about Australian wildlife. If they publish a book about Australian wildlife, I won't buy it.

Steffe said...

Ha! I took a very similar photo the other day and gave it that title! But that was of a woodpecker!

As a photographer you really have to love squirrels.

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