Date: April 2007
Place: Vadul-lui-Voda, Moldova
Certainly you recognize the cute mammal displayed on these photos taken at one of the annual conferences of the non-government organization “AIESEC Moldova” in spring 2007. At that time I was a member of the organization and went to this event called “Local Training Seminar” to learn more about AIESEC. The conference took place at the summer camp, where we had managed to take photos of this well-known rodent.
The common or Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) is a widespread small or medium-sized mammal representing the Sciuridae family from the Rodentia order. Its English name “squirrel” and Latin “sciurus” have Greek origins and mean “shadow-tailed”, underlining their most eye-catching body part – the big fluffy tail shading the whole body.
Squirrels have quite rich diet: their standard meal includes seeds, nuts, fruits, fungi, and certain plants, but the menu may be enriched with insects, eggs, small birds, reptiles and other rodents. This means the cute little beasts are able to prey on other animals and consume their meat.
Certain members of Sciuridae stay close to humans, for example, in city parks and summer camps. They have learned that these tailless two-legged creatures are usually a rich source of food. Squirrels can be also kept as pets and taught to do tricks – some people state they are similar to dogs in their ability to learn behavioral models. In some countries, like certain regions of the USA and the United Kingdom, squirrels are hunted for food – their meat is considered a favoured one there.
As you see, these widely-spread furry rodents have some interesting facts to reveal. And there are still much more of them hidden in the shadow of their tails.