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  • USA Wildlife Removal Education Guide - How well can squirrels climb and jump?

How well can squirrels climb and jump?

There are over 250 types of squirrel in the world, and they are all graceful and nimble acrobats. Squirrel is Greek for “shadow Tail” and refers to the fact that is long slender tail covered in a fluffy fur. If you want to watch an amazing aerial show put on by Mother Nature, sit back and watch groups of squirrels maneuvering through the trees, scurrying up posts, and dancing across thin lines. Not only can the average tree squirrel clear a space of up to 20 feet across when jumping from tree to tree, they are also capable of leaping four to nine feet straight up in the air! This is due to the thick pads on their feet. Considering a squirrel is about 1/10 the size of a person, if you had their unique jumping abilities, you could jump as high as a five story building, and leap over double-decker buses.

They have amazing balance thanks to their tail, and can maneuver effortlessly across electrical lines, cables and clothes lines as though they were walking down the street, or zoom across a line hanging upside down and moving with a “paw over paw” motion . A squirrel easily reaches speeds of 20 MPH when running on the ground and 12 MPH running up a tree with a little help from their super muscular, double jointed back legs. The erratic zigzag pattern a squirrel uses when running on the ground is designed to confuse any possible predators. They also have the ability to climb vertical walls and seemingly slick poles.

If a squirrel happens to fall, it can survive a drop of 100 feet by using its tail like a parachute. The 5 toes on their back feet are able to grip seemingly smooth surfaces, and by using their tails for balance they can “hang” upside down while using their sharp clawed, 4 toed front feet to grab food. Although a squirrel infestation in your home or garden might not be welcome, celebrating squirrels in their natural habitat is a treat everyone can enjoy!

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