Squirrels: Did You Know?

Cummings School veterinary technician shares five facts about our furry friends
A gray squirrel holding a peanut.
A gray squirrel enjoys its meal on a log. Photo: iStock/Suefeldberg

These furry creatures are prevalent throughout Massachusetts, but not everywhere. Here are some facts about these athletic gatherers.

  1. There are over 200 squirrel species in the world, but they do not reside in either Australia, Antarctica, or New Zealand.
  2. Black squirrels are not a separate species, simply melanistic forms of other squirrel species (most commonly Eastern Gray Squirrels and Fox Squirrels).
  3. Eastern Gray Squirrels are invasive to Europe and are threatening the native population of Red Squirrels.
  4. There are three types of squirrels in the Scuridae family; tree, ground, and flying squirrels.
  5. The smallest squirrel species is the African Pygmy Squirrel, which is 5" from nose to tail.

Melissa Woodman is a veterinary technician III at the Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.