A group of squirrels is called a dray or a scurry.
Baby squirrels are called pups, kittens or kits.
In Greek the word squirrel means shadow tail.
Squirrels have four very sharp front teeth which never stop growing which is useful as they keep nibbling away at acorns, nuts and berries.
Squirrels can be categorised into three types: ground squirrels, tree squirrels and flying squirrels.
Flying squirrels can’t really fly. They glide through the air using flaps of skin which connect their limbs, providing a wing-like surface.
Squirrel nests are called ‘dreys’.
Squirrels use a wide range of calls, such as territorial barks and ‘quacking’ noises, but their main form of communication is with their tails. They use these as signalling devices, twitching them if they become suspicious of a threat. Their tales are very fluffy.
When jumping, or falling, they use their tail both for balance and as a parachute!
Squirrels can run up to 20 mph and have padded feet which cushion jumps from up to 20 feet high.
The hind legs of squirrels are double-jointed, which gives them the ability to run up and down trees very quickly.
Squirrels help the spread of oak trees. They store acorns in the ground but only find some. The forgotten acorns grow into healthy trees.
Red squirrels were widespread in the UK until the 1940s but are now classified as an endangered species in the UK. Their threatened status is largely down to the rise of the grey squirrel population.