What do squirrels do with their tails?
Squirrels can be easily recognized from far through their long and bushy tails and that’s what makes them fluffy and cute creature. That’s why they spend a lot of time in grooming their tails. Their tail is usually less than 7 inches but ground squirrels have the longest tails whereas tree squirrels have medium or moderate tail size. But their tails not only help them look cute but they serve many other purposes in their life.
Protection – Squirrels use their tails to wrap it around their body to protect themselves in case of heavy rains. Even though their tails are not that long to cover them completely but they can stretch them to this much that they can protect their head. Not only this, they also use them as self-protection from any kind of predator such as a snake. They wag their tails in front of them to scare the predator and try to save themselves. Along with saving themselves, they use their tails to save other squirrels as well by giving them signal through their tails. Whenever they feel that there is some kind of danger around them then they twitch their tail and thus alert other squirrels.
Balance – As all know that squirrels climb from tree to tree so it’s obvious that this will need a lot of balance and tails serve this purpose for them. Tails keep them falling from trees by maintaining their balance or when they jump from one tree to another. In case they are about to fall then they can also use tail as a parachute so that they can safely land. If there comes a situation when they fall all of a sudden then they put their tail first on the ground and then their body.
Communication – Squirrels also use their tails for direct communication to other squirrels. It helps them to stay connected in case of danger by warning others or to inform them about nearby food. They can move their tails in different directions as per the situation so that other squirrels can easily get signals. Tails are also effective means of communication in mating season. Squirrels attract the potential partners by moving their tails and rejections are also indicated by tails.
Temperature Maintenance – Squirrels adapt to different types of weather conditions with the help of their tail. In case of a rainy season, tail act as an umbrella for them and then they dry their body with the help of tails only. In case of winters and when sleeping, they wrap their tails around their body to keep their body warm. Not only in rainy and winter season, they use their tails in summers as well to keep their body cool.
In spite of all these benefits, it will be shocking for you to know that squirrels can live without their tail as well or without a part of their tail in case they lose it during an accident but with time their tail can grow again.
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