Animal protein: species, description, habitat, food, breeding
Wildlife is diverse and amazing. In our forests there are many interesting animals. One of these is animal squirrel. Nimble animal skillfully runs through the trees, collecting nuts and other supplies. This knowledge of this animal for many people and ends. Next will be reviewed the basic facts about this interesting animal.
What does a squirrel look like?
According to the zoological classification, the animal protein belongs to the class of mammals, the order of rodents, the squirrel family. His description is as follows: a small, very nimble and mobile animal with an elongated body and a beautiful lush tail. The length of the body in squirrels is approximately twenty or thirty centimeters, the length of the tail is one-third shorter. A squirrel's tail is not just a decoration. It serves as a rudder in a jump, a balance bar while jogging along tree branches, a blanket during sleep.The appearance of the tail is an indicator of the health of the animal, according to which the animals choose their partner.
There are giant squirrels with a body size of about fifty centimeters. And the smallest species does not exceed a length of seven and a half centimeters. Continuing the description of the squirrel, it should be noted that its head is small, slightly elongated. She has shiny black eyes, a rounded nose and long ears, which often have brushes.
Paws of a squirrel are strong, with sharp, tenacious claws. Hind limbs longer than the front. On the face, abdomen and front paws of the animal there are special hard hairs - vibrissae, performing the function of the sense organs.
Where do they live?
The habitat of squirrels is unusually wide. About fifty species of these animals "live" in Europe, Asia, Africa and America, where there are high forest. Squirrels are unpretentious animals. They feel well, both in the north and in the south, in the mountains and in the plains. They are also found in urban parks and squares.
From the place of residence of the animal depends on its appearance, size and color. Squirrels - the inhabitants of the mountains are larger than their flat relatives.And the closer to the center of the range, the brighter becomes the color of the animals.
In nature, there are too many squirrel species to list them all. The most famous of them are: Aberta squirrel, fire, Caucasian (Persian), flying squirrel, Japanese, mouse, Indian giant, two-colored, and many others.
The only species that lives on the territory of Russia is the red-headed squirrel or veksha. In this species of animals there are many subspecies, differing in size and color.
By the number of different color options, an ordinary species is ahead of all its relatives. At the same time the shade changes seasonally. In summer, the fur of representatives of this species has a red, brown or dark brown color. In winter, it becomes gray, sometimes almost black or brownish, as in the Carpathian, Far Eastern and Manchu subspecies.
The largest among ordinary squirrels - teleutki - in the winter they flaunt in silver-gray and bluish fur coats. Their tail is pale gray with a tinge of black and yellowish-rust. On this basis, Teleut proteins belong to the Graytails.
Other varieties of winter tail color are browntails, redtails and blacktails.Among the squirrels there are individuals with piebald color, as well as melanists (completely black) and albinos (absolutely white specimens).
Considering the description of the squirrel, it is worth noting that twice a year, like many other animals, they change the fur. In the spring it happens, most often, in April-May, in the fall - during the whole season. Spring molting in squirrels, starting from the head to the base of the tail. Autumn molt goes in the opposite direction - from the root of the tail to the head. Thus, the tail of these animals molts once a year.
The process of molting, like in other mammals, depends on the length of daylight. When it changes, the animal’s pituitary gland produces a special hormone that affects the activity of the thyroid gland. Due to this, molting begins.
The timing and duration of this process are not constant. They depend on weather conditions and the amount of feed. If there is a lot of it, the change of coat of squirrels starts earlier and ends more quickly. The quality of the new fur also depends on the climatic conditions and the food supply.
Squirrels are solitary animals, they are collected in flocks only during mass migrations. They do not fight for territory with their relatives, they do not protect their individual sites.The main part of life is carried out on trees. On the ground, the animals feel anxious, moving with caution, short jumps and dashes. Noticing the danger, hiding higher in the dense crown of trees.
Proteins are most active in the mornings and evenings when they are busy searching for food. It takes the lion's share of their active time.
Possessing magnificent jumping ability, these small dexterous animals fearlessly make multimeter “flights” from branch to branch, using their fluffy tail as a rudder. The best "flyer" among squirrels are flying squirrels. There is a membrane between the front and back paws on both sides of the body that allow them to plan, turning their jumps into almost real flight.
Squirrels always equip their homes in trees, preferring to use hollows for this purpose. Not finding a suitable shelter, the animal builds a spherical nest, located high above the ground among the dense foliage. Inside the squirrel house is lined with dry grass, leaves, insulated with moss or lichen.
The nest has two entrances, one of which is located on the side of the trunk, so that the protein can escape in case of danger.In severe cold in one such house is going to several animals, the entrance is closed with moss, and it saves animals from freezing.
Usually squirrels have up to one and a half dozens of dwellings, which they often have to change, presumably, fleeing from parasites. If the female has a squirrel, she transfers them to a new place in the teeth.
What eats squirrel in the forest? The basis of its diet is vegetable food - the seeds of coniferous trees, fresh and dried mushrooms, in the southern areas - nuts and acorns. With a shortage of basic types of food, proteins can eat kidneys and shoots of trees, tubers and rhizomes of various plants, berries, lichens. In early spring, during the mating season, the squirrels begin to consume animal food - insects and their larvae, frogs, bird eggs and the chicks themselves.
Everybody knows about protein storing. On the eve of winter, they harvest nuts, acorns and cones, hiding them in hollows or burying them under the roots of trees. About their protein reserves forgets. They are accidentally bumped into by either herself or other forest dwellers. But it can find “pantries” made by mice, chipmunks or nutcrackers under a 1.5 meter layer of snow.
An ordinary squirrel or a beetle produces offspring, usually twice a year. Three litters occur in the south of the range. Only the Yakut squirrel breeds calves once a year. In the mating season, females seek from three to six males. They behave aggressively towards rivals, purr and bang their paws on the branches.
The strongest gets the right to mate with a female, after which she builds a nest. In it, after 36-37 days and born squirrel. The number of youngsters can be from three to ten, usually in the second litter there are more than the first. Squirrels are born naked and blind, each of them weighs about 8 g. The mother feeds them with milk for about a month and a half. At the age of about 9 weeks, babies begin to lead independent lives.
Having considered the description and way of life of an interesting forest dweller, which is an animal protein, you can get closer acquainted with the peculiarities of this species.