Monday, December 7, 2009
You see, up till then I had only ever known about Fox Squirrels. I grew up with fox squirrels all around my neighborhood. I didn't know they were only one kind of squirrel. I didn't even know they had a name other than just "squirrel". Then I moved to where I am now and I discovered these other two types.
When I first met the little guy above I thought maybe he was a Chipmunk, which I had also never seen before. He was much too small to be any kind of squirrel I had ever seen, and no squirrel I ever saw had that cute little white belly. He certainly resembled those two cartoon chipmunks, Chip & Dale. So I thought he was a chipmunk.
But there is really a type of squirrel with stripes that are very similar to those of a chipmunk. It's a kind of squirrel called an Indian Palm Squirrel. Go ahead, click on the link. It won't hurt. That's really strange, isn't it? It looks a lot like a chipmunk! You can see at least a little bit how easy it is to be mistaken about the identity of these creatures.
I really have no idea why or how they got their names, but I assume they are based on even more assumptions. Yeah, yeah, ass|u|me. And with all the different names, the squirrels are really all different, aren't they? I've shown you two kinds of squirrel, and linked to a third, but there is a more common kind here in North America.
There is one more little problem we have here. There is another squirrel I've already mentioned. It looks totally different from the rest, and to most people it is a very mysterious little squirrel. Can you guess what it is?
But wait, there's more!
Look at the fringing around the black squirrel's tail. It is lighter than the rest of the squirrel. It's certainly not black. Some of these black squirrels have white patches of fur on them, and it is much more common than I ever realized before. Some even turn all white. They are really albino black squirrels.
And then what if a black squirrel had a bit of white on its back. Oh no, a skunk! Somebody might think it was a baby skunk or something. I guess that would be an easy mistake to make. Have you ever seen anything that you assumed was something else? Have you ever seen a person that you assumed was a certain way just because of their appearance? Think of these squirrels for a little bit, and then think of your answer to those questions.