Sounds From the Trails


The tree squirrel is a very special animal. It is one of very few wild animals that have adapted to humans and learned to coexist with man. It can live on both natural foods and hand outs. The squirrel is an acrobatic wonder to young and old. Its large tail makes it the most recognized mammal on Earth. It amazes us with daring high wire acts, as it races through the tree branches. Its determination to find a way to get seeds from a so called "squirrel proof" bird feeder is a delight to watch.

The Gray squirrel has been traced back 50 million years, from a fossil record made in North America. It is a rodent (Rodentia) in the Sciurus family. The species called Sciurus Carolinensis.

The squirrel's common name can be traced back to the ancient Greeks, where Aristotle used the word "skiouros," skia meaning shade, while "oura" means tail. Thus the meaning "he who sits in the shadow of his tail" was recorded. Centuries later the French created a noun "esquirel" to describe this animal. From this the present word "squirrel" was derived. The word Gray is spelled "Grey" in the English speaking counties of Europe as well as in Canada.

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