LATIN NAME: Sciurus carolinensis
WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE: It’s all in the name really! These big fellas are about 20 inches from head to tail. They’re coat can be any shade from black to pale grey. It is tinted with a rusty colour around the head, feet, and hips and is paler on the underpart.
WHERE TO FIND THEM: These squirrels are very widely distributed and are comfortable in forests, woodlands, and parklands from America to the British Isles to South Africa. They can be seen all over campus.
INTERESTING FACT: Originally introduced to the British Isles from America, these guys are notorious for displacing our native Red Squirrels. They out-compete the Reds for food, they can digest acorns (unlike the Red), and they carry can a virus that, although deadly to Reds, does not affect them.
Grzimek’s Animal Encyclopedia, Second Edition. Volumes 12-16, Mammals I-V, edited by Michael Hitchins, Devra G. Kleiman, and Melissa C. McDade. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group, 2003.
BBC. 2013. Grey Squirrel. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Eastern_gray_squirrel [09/01/2013]