Monday, November 24, 2008

Rodents with PR

Has anyone seen squirrels attempt to get inside a bird feeder? It’s one of the most amusing things. Although it gets a bit annoying when birds run out of food. I have two feeders and normally fill them up every two weeks but once they located them, it was all over for the birds. I recently took them down because it’s winter but I’ll put them back up in the spring.

I don’t know much about squirrels except that they’re cute :). But did you know that the squirrel’s name can be traced back to ancient Greece, from the word “skiouros,” used by Aristotle – skia meaning shade, while “oura” means tail. Thus the meaning “he who sits in the shadow of his tail” was originated. In the subsequent centuries, the French created a noun “esquirel” to describe this creature. And that’s where the present word “squirrel” was derived.

More very interesting trivia:
  • Squirrels communicate through a series of chirps. The frequency, and the duration of the notes communicate everything from laughter to alarm. Their frequency range is normally between .01 KHz. and 10 KHz. (kilohertz). These sounds when used in conjunction with tail gestures, form the basis for squirrel communication.
  • A squirrel will break the shell of a nut with its teeth, then clean the nut by licking it or rubbing on its face before it is buried. This action applies a scent to the nut which helps the squirrel find it later, even under a foot of snow.
  • The squirrel’s erratic path while crossing a street is an attempt to confuse the oncoming vehicle... thereby causing it to change direction. This is obliviously the squirrels biggest, and often last mistake.
  • The male tree squirrel takes twice as long, as the female, to groom itself. They are the cleanest animal in the rodent family.
  • A squirrels teeth grow continuously. Their incisor’s will grow six inches per year, but stay short due to the constant wear they receive.
If you want to know more about these voracious creatures. I couldn’t believe it existed but here’s a website dedicated solely for them.

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