In the early hours of morning, two young fox squirrels gambol through the trees, running and tackling. According to Thorington Jr. and Ferrell, many mammals play, and fox squirrels are no exception (2006). I've seen fox squirrels play by twisting, running sporadically through the trees as to avoid an unseen predator, and attacking or playing with sticks or leaves. I've seen two or three fox squirrels play by chasing, tackling, boxing, and practicing sexual behavior. Such behavior may help a squirrel develop physical endurance, coordination, and bonds with other squirrels that will make them better able to evade predators, find mates, and navigate the trees effectively (Thorington Jr. & Ferrell, 2006).
Thorington Jr., R. W. & Ferrell, K. (2006). Squirrels: An Animal Answer Guide. John Hopkins: Baltimore.
Location: United States, South Dakota, Brookings
Image Date: 2008SEP25
Image Species: Sciurus niger rufiventer
(EXIF infomation is accurate – stamped in UTC).
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