17 Different Types of Squirrels

Different Types of Squirrels
Photo by Paolo Nicolello

You’ve probably seen some type of squirrel while wandering around the neighborhood park or in your backyard. Although you may not know just how many different types of squirrels there are in the world today.

Squirrels are one of the most diverse groups of mammals in existence, with over 200 different species known to exist.

Here are 17 different types of squirrels to get you started on this fascinating and oft-misunderstood family of rodents!

1. Flying Squirrels

Have you seen a squirrel flying? These guys are the ones to blame and are different types of squirrels. Flying squirrels are nocturnal, so you’re more likely to see them at night.

Their membranes extend from their wrists to their ankles, which help them glide through the air. Also, they’re not just limited to North America – there are flying squirrel species worldwide.

Some people think that only gray and black flying squirrels exist, but in reality, many different colors and types exist. Flying squirrels have skin flaps between their front and back legs, allowing them to glide through the air.

Also, flying squirrels have soft fur coats that match their habitats. They usually live high up in trees or fly from tree to tree using their large front paws as air brakes.

2. Funambulus

The Funambulist is a genus of squirrels that contains seven different species, and they are other different types of squirrels native to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. The Funambulist is the only genus in the family Funambulidae. 

However, the name Funambulus comes from the Latin word for a climber. All seven species of Funambulus are arboreal, have long tails, and are all brown or grey with white bellies. 

Although the most well-known species is the Indian palm squirrel, which is often kept as a pet, the remaining six species of Funambulus differ in size and weight: F. beema weighs around 190 grams (6 ounces).

The F. major weighs 180 grams (6 ounces), F. rufescens weighs 170 grams (5 ounces), F. margarita weighs 160 grams (5 ounces), F. creates 120 grams (4 ounces), and F. chrysomelas weighs 110 grams (3 1/2 ounces).

Also, these seven species live throughout Asia, but their range extends into Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey.

3. Spermophilus

The first on our list is the Spermophilus, the common ground squirrel. This is also one of the different types of squirrels found in North America, and its small size and short legs can identify it. 

Hence, the Spermophilus typically has brown fur, which can vary depending on the subspecies. These squirrels are known for being playful and curious and often hide their food in caches.

4. Douglas Squirrel

There are different types of squirrels, as the Douglas squirrel is commonly found in North America. They are small to medium-sized animals with reddish-brown fur and long, fluffy tail. They are named after their discoverer, David Douglas. 

However, the Douglas squirrels are not considered threatened or endangered. They can be found throughout most of the continent, excluding parts of Texas and Oklahoma. They’re mainly ground dwellers, but they will also climb trees and feed on nuts that have fallen from them. 

However, these squirrels are preyed upon by foxes, coyotes, bobcats, hawks, eagles, and humans. Some predators may use tree limbs to get above the ground where these squirrels live.

5. Oriental Giant Squirrels

The Oriental giant squirrel is a large tree squirrel native to Indonesia, the Philippines, and southern China. It is one of the different types of squirrels and a giant squirrel in the world, with a head-and-body length of up to 80 cm (31 in) and a tail of up to 50 cm (20 in). 

Also, the fur is long and dense and can be reddish-brown, orange-red, or greyish-brown. The Oriental giant squirrel is an arboreal creature that feeds mainly on fruits, nuts, and leaves.

6. Plantain Squirrel

The plantain squirrel is a common type of squirrel found in North and South America. These small, brown rodents are known for their long tails and love of nuts and seeds.

While they are not the most popular type of squirrel, they are certainly one of the most interesting. Also, the plantain squirrel can be found all over America and will feed on both plants and animals.

They typically prefer to live in forests with high concentrations of trees, which provide them with plenty of food sources such as pine cones, nuts, acorns, fruits, insects, and birds’ eggs. 

Though, as omnivores (animals that eat both plants and animals), these clever creatures often stash food away for leaner times.

Do this successfully without attracting other predators or being tempted by their stash. These intelligent creatures will hide food in several places, so others won’t quickly discover it.

7. Sciuridae

The Sciuridae subfamily includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, flying squirrels, and prairie dogs. All members of this subfamily are native to the Americas, except one species of flying squirrel that is found in Eurasia.  

Hence, tree squirrels are primarily grey or brownish with fluffy tails (some have white bellies) weighing less than 2 pounds (0.9 kg). Tree squirrels are known for their excellent climbing skills and ability to leap long distances.

8. Ground Squirrels

 Ground squirrels are also one of the different types of squirrels. It can be found in all regions of North America except for most coastal areas and Hawaii.

They have brown fur, a dark-colored face, large eyes, and short legs with five toes on each foot. A small tail weighs between 3-5 pounds (1.4-2 kg). 

However, Ground squirrels live in caves on the ground and are skilled at hiding from predators while gathering food.

They make their homes in brush piles, old logs, crevices in rocks, or underground. Female ground squirrels give birth to litters consisting of up to six babies after a gestation period of about three months.

9. Pine Squirrels

One type of squirrel you might see in your backyard is the pine squirrel. These tiny rodents are brown or reddish-brown above and have a light belly. They’re found in wooded areas across North America and are known for being good tree climbers. 

Although, If you live near a forest, you might see these little guys running around gathering nuts and seeds. There’s even a Pennsylvania Pine Squirrel Festival that takes place every year to celebrate them.

The more you know about different types of squirrels, the better you can protect them from getting harmed by humans!

10. Tamias

The first type of squirrel is the Tamias. These little guys, also known as chipmunks, are found all over North America. They’re small, with reddish-brown fur and white stripes running down their backs. 

Regardless, Tamias is one of the most common different types of squirrels, and they’re known for being very active and playful. You can’t get any cuter than a tiny critter like this one. 

11. Indian Giant Squirrel

The Indian giant squirrel, also known as the Malabar giant squirrel or sculptured squirrel, is a large tree squirrel native to India and one of the different types of squirrels. Indian giant squirrel is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

12. Japanese Dwarf Flying Squirrel

The Japanese dwarf flying squirrel is one of the 17 different types of squirrels. It’s a small, brown squirrel with a white underside. These squirrels are found in forests in Japan. 

Also, they’re good at gliding, which is how they got their name. If you see these squirrels on trees, it’s easy to mistake them for birds. But if you watch closely, you can see that they’re not birds because they have bushy tails and no feathers. 

13. Prairie Dogs

There are five different species of prairie dogs: black-tailed, white-tailed, Gunnison’s, Utah, and Mexican prairie dogs.

Black-tailed prairie dogs are the most common and can be found from Montana to Texas. White-tailed prairie dogs are smaller than black-tailed ones, with a white tail with a black tip.

Furthermore, Gunnison’s prairie dogs are found in Colorado and Utah, while Utah prairie dogs can be found…you guessed it, in Utah.

Mexican prairie dogs live primarily in Mexico and New Mexico. They’re often mistaken for another different type of squirrel because their ears point forward like some ground squirrels.

14. Indian Palm Squirrel

The Indian palm squirrel is a species of different types of squirrels found in the Indian subcontinent. It is a medium-sized squirrel with a reddish brown back, light brown sides, and a white belly. The Indian palm squirrel is an arboreal creature often seen in trees. 

However, it feeds on fruits, nuts, and insects. The Indian palm squirrel is native to the Indian subcontinent and can be found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

15. American Red Squirrel

One of the different types of squirrels is the American red squirrel is the most common type of squirrel in North America.

They are small, with reddish-brown fur and a white belly. They are known for their bushy tails and for being good climbers. 

Meanwhile, Red squirrels are also the most vocal of all the squirrel species. If you’ve ever been walking through a forest at night, you may have heard these animals’ high-pitched sounds, and it’s so high-pitched that humans can’t listen to them without special equipment.

16. Siberian Flying Squirrel

This is one of the different types of squirrels. The groundhog, a woodchuck, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the giant ground squirrels known as marmots. Carl Linnaeus first scientifically described it in 1758. 

Hence, the groundhog is well adapted to living in cold environments and has a thick fur coat; it helps protect them from cold weather and predators. Groundhogs are found in North America and parts of Europe. 

Although they have strong claws that they use for digging burrows and getting food. These small animals live together in large groups called colonies that can include more than fifty individuals. One common type of groundhog is the Eastern Woodchuck (Marmota monax).

17. Groundhog

The groundhog, a woodchuck, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae. It belongs to the giant ground squirrels known as marmots, and Carl Linnaeus first scientifically described it in 1758. 

However, this is one of the different types of squirrels. The groundhog is well adapted to living in cold environments and has a thick coat of fur, which helps protect it from cold weather and predators. Groundhogs are also excellent swimmers and can often be seen swimming in lakes and rivers. 

Also, they have tiny front claws that act like paddles when they swim but cannot be used for digging. One type of Groundhog is called Richardson’s Groundhog because its coloration resembles the Brown Rat or Richardson’s Wild Mouse. These rodents usually have brown coats with black ears and feet. 

Also another species is called a Swamp Jumping Chipmunk because their diet consists primarily of tree seeds, nuts, berries, and acorns.

Also, insects are found near water sources such as lakes or streams. They are smaller than other types of groundhogs, with white stripes on their backs that fade into brown stripes on their bellies when they reach adulthood at about one year old.

Conclusion

Though there are many different types of squirrels, they all have one thing in common – they’re all adorable.

Whether you’re looking for a new pet or want to learn more about these fascinating creatures, this list will satisfy your curiosity. So, what are you waiting for? Get started learning about all the different types of squirrels today!

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