How Do Squirrels Climb?Squirrels are built for speed. Their lightweight bodies and powerful legs allow them to effortlessly get around obstacles and scale heights in record time. They have very sharp claws to grip surfaces. This allows for quick and agile movements climbing up and down trees in a head-first position. They also have strong hind legs with double-jointed, hyper-extendable wrists that allow them to turn at lightning speed.
How Does a Squirrel Use Its Tail?A squirrel’s tail is more than a cute, bushy appendage. It serves multiple functions:
- Controls balance: The tail allows for better balance and coordination as squirrels jump from place to place. It supports their frame when sitting in a tree. Directional thrusts of the tail help them make quick and accurate turns.
- Regulates temperature: The tail will stem the flow of blood in the summer to cool the body or allow blood to flow freely to the body core for heat during winter. Squirrels also use their tails to shade their bodies from direct sunlight.
- Acts as a parachute: Tails help squirrels make jaw-dropping falls from considerable heights. The tail acts as a parachute to reduce speed and velocity. This is not a common practice, but some squirrels use this move as a quick exit strategy.
- Provides a communication tool: Squirrels use their tails to communicate messages with other squirrels or predators. A squirrel will flick its tail when alarmed or agitated and fluff its tail when being defensive. Tails also play an essential part in mating rituals.