Little Squirrels: 5 Kit Pictures and 5 Facts
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Baby squirrels are among the smallest babies born in the animal kingdom, but that doesn't mean they're the most helpless! The odds are against them, but being born blind and naked isn't enough to stop them! Let's find out five facts about baby squirrels.
#1: Squirrel Pup Born Totally Blind
It's not easy being a tiny baby born in the wild, but can you imagine being born blind? This is the reality of newborn baby squirrels. Young squirrels have their eyes closed until they are about 5 to 6 weeks old. This makes them extremely vulnerable to predators that might exploit their weakness.
Blind babies hide in nests their parents build for them in trees, abandoned houses, parks, etc. to keep themselves as safe as possible. Building a home high up in a tree can make it harder for predators to get close to baby squirrels.
#2: Some baby squirrels can fly
There are many different species of squirrels, and believe it or not, some of them can actually fly. Well, they might not actually fly, but they do glide, and they do it pretty well. About 50 species of squirrels are born with a loose layer of skin between the wrists and ankles. This is what is used to "fly".
Unlike humans, squirrels mature and become adults relatively quickly! Squirrels are considered adults between eight and ten weeks old. Plus, they're perfectly capable of making full 90-degree turns in the air!
#3: Baby squirrel cries for mom
Most of us know that babies cry because their needs are not being met. However, the squirrel kit did not develop sophisticated means of communication. We know this is true for human babies, but did you know the same thing applies to baby squirrels?
When the mother leaves the den and is busy finding food for herself, the baby squirrels will cry for her to come home and feed them. It is said that these calls are very soft, but my mother is nearby and runs over as soon as she hears them.
#4: Squirrel Pups Are Born Naked
We talked about how baby squirrels were born blind and how difficult it was. But can you imagine being born blind and naked? That's right; baby squirrels are born hairless. They start to grow a little hair at about a week old, but only around their face and head.
It takes about a month for baby squirrels to start seeing fur growing on their bodies, which is exactly when they start teething. However, by one and a half months of age, squirrels usually have a permanent fur coat and their eyes are just opening.
#5: Orphan baby squirrels get adopted
Like any other animal in the wild, baby squirrels are no strangers to misfortune. Sometimes, something happens and a newborn squirrel is left alone in the world with seemingly no chance of survival. Fortunately, squirrels are a species that care for young. However, this is not purely out of their inner good intentions.
Typically, if a newborn squirrel is in a situation where they need to be adopted, they can only count on blood-related family members. The more resources there are, the more families will be willing to help raise this poor orphan.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How much does a squirrel weigh?
Depending on the species of baby squirrel, they usually weigh between 15 and 20 grams at birth. That means it takes at least 20 baby squirrels to earn a pound! The baby squirrels have nearly doubled their body weight in just six weeks after birth.
What do little squirrels eat?
If the baby squirrels live with their mother in the wild, the mother will care for them until they are 6 to 11 weeks old. If humans bred them, they are usually given a special milk replacer. When they start eating solid foods, they like to start with fruits and some vegetables such as grapes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale, many types of nuts, and more. Squirrels were maintained on a typical rodent diet.
Where does the little squirrel live?
Baby squirrels are born and live in dens that their mothers build for them. To protect her babies, a mother squirrel will usually build at least one extra den in a separate location, just in case. When the baby squirrels are about 6 to 7 weeks old, their mother builds them a brand new den for them to migrate.
What is the name of the little squirrel?
Small squirrels are called kits or sometimes kittens. When a squirrel is pregnant with multiple cubs, it is called a litter, and a group of squirrels is called a scurry. Baby squirrels stop being babies when they are nine months old.
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