Friday, May 14, 2010

More attractive than a Hooded Warbler?

Photographer Murray Head's Squirrel Tale

The Ramble was alive with many attractions last Tuesday

But one I found to be particularly special

I have researched the subject of the squirrel's tail.

... to find:

The scientific name of the squirrel is "sciurus" from the ancient Greek "skiourous"... skia (shadow) and oura (tail).Therefore the squirrel quite literally can sit in the shadow of hisown tail--quite useful on a hot sunny day as a parasol and in the
rain or snow as an umbrella.

With a quick wrap, a squirrel's tail can also serve as a blanket. It can even be a rudder when in the water and a cushion whenthere is an occasional fall.

A squirrel's acrobatic balance owes a lot to skillful tail maneuvers.It serves to maintain balance when they run across the branchesof a tree. A flick of the tail can represent anything from asquirrel-to-squirrel communication, to distracting a predator.

There are genetic variations, including individuals with blacktails and black colored squirrels with white tails,(Kaibabs).

Does someone want to explain this fellow?

Photographed in The Ramble on 5/11/10

Three photos by Murray Head