Squirrels are cute with their busy acorn-carrying and fluffy tails!

They have a strong image of being cute, but do you really know about squirrels?

Let’s learn more about squirrels together!



~ Basic information. ~


Small species.

Length 7~10㎝.
Weight 10g.

Big species.

Length 53~73㎝
Weight 5~8㎏


Australia, Antarctica, Polynesia, Madagascar, South America and some deserts.

The continent of Australia was not originally inhabited by them but was introduced by humans around the 19th century.




Squirrel’s Q&A.

Where do squirrels live?

Squirrels are often associated with living in trees, but there are also squirrels that dig holes in the ground to live in.

Squirrels that live in trees are called arboreal squirrels. They are good at climbing trees and jumping, and live on branches or in tree holes.

They basically live alone and do not have a strong territorial awareness. They do not hibernate when living in cold places.


Squirrels that dig holes in the ground to live in on the ground such as grasslands and sandy areas are called gophers.

Some species live on the ground rather than in trees, and some live on mountains where trees do not grow.

They have a very strong territorial awareness and form groups centered around families and are social. Many gophers hibernate.


By the way… when it comes to squirrels, you probably imagine the chipmunk family, but the chipmunk is said to be an intermediate between arboreal squirrels and gophers.

They live by digging holes on the ground, but they are also good at climbing trees.

What do squirrels eat?

Squirrels are mainly herbivorous and eat many plants such as nuts, seeds, fruits, mushrooms, and grass. However, some species seem to eat insects, bird eggs and chicks, reptiles, and small rodents.

Arboreal squirrels are relatively omnivorous with a tendency towards herbivory, eating seeds, fruits, mushrooms, and small animals.

Although squirrels are often associated with hiding nuts in trees or soil, this behavior, called “food hoarding,” is primarily exhibited by arboreal squirrels.


Ground squirrels are mainly herbivorous and eat low-growing plants such as grass. However, they seem to eat insects and small vertebrates.


Is it true that Momonga is a member of the squirrel family?

This is true. Not only flying squirrels but also giant flying squirrel are members of the squirrel family. There are two big differences between them and other squirrels.

The first is having a patagium that can jump long distances from tree to tree. The second is the time zone when it starts moving.

While many other squirrels are diurnal or crepuscular, the giant flying squirrel and the flying squirrels are nocturnal.

However, during the summer when raising children, mothers and children become diurnal.

Why do squirrels’ cheeks swell so much?

When it comes to squirrels, don’t they look like they have twice as much as their face stuffed with nuts and other things?

Hamsters and other animals like squirrels store food in their cheeks. They have cheek pouches that stretch out more than other parts of their face.

Not all squirrels have cheek pouches, but chipmunks can store up to nine almonds in their cheeks – four on each side and one in the front.

However, the squirrels’ cheeks stuffed with nine almonds look puffy and a little silly, which is one of the reasons why squirrels are loved.


Can squirrels be pets?

If you want to keep a rare animal, you may need to follow the laws established by the country. This time, I will introduce whether it is possible to keep a squirrel at home in Japan.

Squirrels can be kept as pets.

However, there are many detailed regulations regarding the type and origin of squirrels that can be kept as pets due to diseases and international issues.

There are five types of squirrels that can be kept as pets.
・chipmunk:5,000 to 10,000 yen.
・Richardson’s ground squirrel:detailed price unknown
・Black-tailed prairie dog:it may become expensive due to its current unavailability.
・Columbian ground squirrel:detailed price unknown
・Plantain Squirrel:relatively easy to purchase

If you want to put it on your lap like a dog or cat, we recommend the Black-tailed Prairie Dog. Other types are timid and cautious, so basically you can’t interact with them much.

However, there seem to be some individuals that become attached to their owners… but they are few.

Above all, it seems that keeping squirrels requires some skill and is not very easy. The lifespan is also long, averaging 7 years, so it is strongly recommended to research before adopting one as a pet.


Can you eat squirrels?

It is edible. Until quite recently, squirrel meat was used as food in the United States. It is still eaten in the southern United States.

In the UK, it seems that non-native squirrels are captured and used as food under the pretext of exterminating them to protect native squirrels.

However, it does not seem to be common. There are records that the Ainu people in Japan used chipmunks as food, but it is now prohibited.

As for the taste, it seems to be very easy to eat because it is softer than chicken meat and has much less of the characteristic odor of wild animals.




Type of squirrel.

●South American arboreal squirrel. 1 genus 1 species.
 ・Neotropical pygmy squirrel.

●arboreal squirrel. 5 genus 38 species.
・Eurasian squirrel.

・Japanese squirrel.

・Eastern gray squirrel.

・Tufted Ground Squirrel.

・Microsciurus mimulus.

・Syntheosciurus brochus.

・American Red Squirrel. etc.

●Asian arboreal squirrel. 14genus 65 species.
・Taiwan squirrels.
・Bornean Mountain Squirrel.
・Philippine Pygmy Squirrel.
・Sculptor Squirrel.
・Montane Long-Nosed Squirrel.
・Four-Striped Ground Squirrel.
・Indochinese Ground Squirrel.
・Black-Eared Squirrel.
・Secretive Dwarf Squirrel.
・Shrew-Faced Squirrel.
・Sulawesi Giant Squirrel.
・Brooke’s Squirrel.
・Maritime Striped Squirrel.
・Layard’s Squirrel. etc.

●Gliding squirrel.15genus 65 species.
・Giant flying squirrel.
・sugar glider.

●A squirrel that lives mainly on the ground
 Xerini.3genus 6 species.
 African arboreal squirrel.6genus 31 species.


Wikipedia フリー百科事典


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