FunThis is how squirrels sleep in winter

This is how squirrels sleep in winter

The squirrel is a very popular and loved animal. More and more people are intrigued by this little rodent . With a tender face and with its characteristic feathered tail, this creature lives in the forest but can be seen running from left to right even in the city, both in gardens and in parks. There are many peculiarities related to this small, agile and very alert animal, but this time we explain how squirrels sleep during winter.

This is how squirrels sleep in winter

There are three large families into which the different types of squirrels are divided: the ground squirrel, the tree squirrel and the flying squirrel and although they look quite similar and in fact, they all belong to the species of rodents, which It is true that they are located in different areas of the planet and perhaps that is why they differ in some customs, especially at bedtime.

What are the different types of squirrels?

However, let us know the types of squirrels from the classification that we have mentioned and we will be able to know how and where they sleep.

  • The gray squirrel is the most common in the eastern and midwestern United States of America. A type of squirrel that we also find a lot in England and that has established itself in most of the northern hemisphere.
  • Red squirrels are slightly smaller than gray squirrels and normally inhabit the northern regions. They tend to frequent the forests of the temperate and arctic zones and are considered tree squirrels.
  • Fox squirrels are another type of tree squirrel that can be found in North America and share their territories with the flying squirrel.
  • The flying squirrel does not fly as such, but actually glides with the help of a thin membrane that connects its limbs so that it can jump and glide from tree to tree without falling.

Where and how does each type of squirrel sleep?

From what we have just explained we have to say that gray, red and fox-type squirrels sleep in nests that they build using branches and sticks, which they fill with moss, strips of tree bark, grass and leaves. In winter and when it is very cold they get into their nest and also usually sleep curled up with their heads tucked inside their tails.

They generally build their nests in the forks of the branches of a tall tree, although they also find it convenient and practical to install themselves in the attic or on the exterior walls of houses.

Flying squirrels use the same elements to build their nests, but they do so in empty holes in trees . In winter, they all sleep together to keep warm.

Gray, red, flying, and fox squirrels sleep in their nests for up to about six weeks . At ten weeks they are capable of opening walnuts and are fully developed at ten months of age, except for the flying squirrel, which reaches maturity at 18 months. Once they have reached maturity, they look for a place to live and build their own nest.

And the ground squirrel?

On the other hand, the ground squirrel differs from the tree squirrels since to live and to sleep it usually digs holes to create burrows in the ground. This type of squirrel hibernates for long periods and does so because its body temperature drops and its heart rate and breathing slow. These squirrels in winter remain in their burrow for five to six months, although it cannot be said that they actually hibernate since in reality, they fall into a kind of partial torpor. This occurs during winter, when the rodent falls asleep and wakes up, often interrupting sleep when temperatures are higher.

And as for ground squirrels in hot climates they also experience these torpor but they do it in the height of summer. Something that is produced in desert areas through a process known as estivation .

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