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Haus der Natur

Climbing acrobats with sharp teeth

Squirrels are rodents. Their sharp teeth can easily crack hard nutshells. The traces of a squirrel's meal are easy to recognize in the forest: empty nutshells and gnawed off cones. Why don't you go looking for them? Maybe you'll also discover a squirrel itself. It is active during the day and not very shy.

Squirrels spend most of their lives in trees. They can climb, balance and jump very well. Their long, bushy tail help them to steer and balance and the tactile hairs all over their body enable them to estimate the distance to branches and leaves. Thanks to their movable claws squirrels can even get a good grip on smooth tree bark.

Furthermore they make their nests of twigs and leaves in the treetops, called dreys. Here they give birth to their young twice a year. In winter they also hibernate in the drey, where they wake up regularly to eat from their supplies. In autumn they spend a lot of time collecting nuts and seeds, hiding them in tree holes or burying them in the ground. If they fail to find all the hiding places again, the forgotten stock may germinate the following spring. In this way squirrels help to spread plants and rejuvenate the forest.

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Erläuterungen und Hinweise


  • Brüsseler Spitze
  • Giacomo Zucca/Bundesstadt Bonn
  • Jarekgrafik/
  • Martin Rudolph/kommbio
  • Marcel Langthim/
  • mooredesigns - Fotolia