Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Costa RIcan Squirrel

Usually when I show wildlife I try to show exotic, tropical animals such as monkeys, crocodiles and iguanas. But this squirrel is so pretty I had to show a photo of it. There are squirrels like this who hang out in the trees near our Langosta Beach condo.

Squirrel are rodents, of course. 43% of the more than 4,000 species of mammals are rodents. 350 of the 1750 species of rodents are squirrels. My Costa Rican wildlife book, which is the source of this information, comments that rodents are rarely encountered by visitors to Costa Rica, although there are 5 species of squirrels in the country.

I think this is a red-tailed squirrel, judging from his body color, although perhaps he is old and that accounts for his gray head, spine and tail. My book shows red squirrels without the gray coloration.

Here is another thing I learned while doing my reading for this post. The word rodent comes from the Latin rodere, which means "to gnaw." Their sharp teeth enable them to gnaw into nuts and other vegetation, or, in the case of beavers, trees.

The red-tailed squirrels are known locally in Costa Rica as ardilla roja.

We are showing photos of some of the architectural details of Budapest, Hungary, this week on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.

9 comments:

Birdman said...

Woodchucks attack my garden each summer. But once they are in my havahart trap, they try like heck to gnaw at the iron frame. Crazy! I release them down by the river.

Sharon said...

You got a good shot of this guy. He looks like he's relaxing on that tree trunk.

squirrelmama said...

This is indeed a beautiful squirrel, and he appears to be quite content in his habitat. He seems a combo of the eastern gray and the native reds here in the States, at least by coloration, but it is clear that Costa Rica has its own species in this rather vast order of animals known by the Latin name "RODENTIA." Thanks for sharing this nice image.

Tracy said...

That is a lovely little rodent. I miss squirrels. Where I grew up we had white squirrels.

Steffe said...

A cool looking squirrel.

Jarart said...

This is an unusual looking squirrel. Very cute little guy.

Elettra said...

Photos spectacular, is not easy to capture because the squirrels are very fast, congratulations

Kate said...

Oh, Dave, I wish that I could share your enthusiasm for this little bugger, but I am so tired of squirrels that run rampant in our neighborhood. We have to be very clever to keep them off the bird feeders. Impressed that you also do research for your posts; fun, isn't it?!

Randy said...

I love squirrels! Great capture.

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