Class: Mammalia: Mammals Diet: Seeds, nuts Order: Rodentia: Rodents Size: body:23 - 30 cm (9 - 11 3/4 in), tail: 21 - 23 cm (8 1/4 - 9 in) Family: Sciuridae: Squirrels Conservation Status: Non-threatened Scientific Name: Sciurus carolinensis Habitat: hardwood forest Range: S.E. Canada, E. U.S.A.; introduced in Britain and South Africa
The gray squirrel's natural home is the oak, hickory and walnut forests of eastern North America, where its numbers are controlled by owls, foxes and bobcats. It feeds on seeds and nuts -- an adult squirrel takes about 80 g (2 3/4 oz) of shelled nuts each day -- and on eggs, young birds and insects. Occasionally gray squirrels strip the bark from young trees to gain access to the nutritious sap beneath. Two litters are produced each year, in early spring and summer. There are up to 7 young in a litter, but usually only 3 or 4 survive. Males are excluded from the nest and take no part in rearing the young. In the south of England, the introduced gray squirrel is ousting the native red squirrel.
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