Field Guide/Mammals/Eastern Fox Squirrel
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|Sciurus niger (Eastern Fox Squirrel)|
Size: The length of an eastern fox squirrel 17-27 inches (431.8-685.8mm) with a tail length of 10 inches long.  It weighs from 1-2 pounds (.45-.91kg) 
Description: Eastern fox squirrel is a pretty large size squirrel with a long furry tail. The colors of their fur are black and silver-grey but mostly seen in reddish-brown. The belly is lighter colored in reddish-orange bellies and their nose, ears, and teeth are colored white. This species likes to sit on an upright position when peaking, eating, and observing. Eastern fox squirrels can also climb trees very well because of its sharp claws and masculine body. 
Similar Species: This specie is similar to eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinesis) but has a bigger body. 
Range: These eastern fox squirrels live all over eastern and central United States, southern Canada, and northeastern Mexico.  As for Minnesota, they are sighted in all of Minnesota forests.
Habitat: Eastern fox squirrels only likes to live by wide and tall grasslands, forests (trees like oak trees and pine trees for nesting and food), and swamps.
Diet: All year long, they like to eat plants such as flowers and grasses. Eastern fox squirrels also like to eat fruits, nuts, and seeds. Not only that, they like to eat insects and rarely birds.  
Activity: Eastern fox squirrels do not hibernate during the winter or any other season. They like to sleep at night and become active in the morning and around the late afternoons. When they are awake, they climb trees, eat, look for food, and bury nuts underground for winter.
Reproduction: Eastern fox squirrels can mate all year long but most mate twice; usually during the spring and winter seasons. Male eastern fox squirrels start mating when they are 10-11 months old.  Pregnant females tend to give birth after 44 days and have about 1-6 babies but 1-3 only makes it alive. Female eastern fox squirrels can have up to two litters per year too. After 3 months of age, the babies can pretty much explore on their own lives. 
Lifespan: For this specie, they are known to live up to 18 years of life but rarely make adulthood. Therefore, they usually live for 4-8 years in average. 
Notes: Eastern fox squirrels have a tail that is 40% as long as its body (from tip of nose to start of tail). Hunters hunt these species and other squirrels for food. They are usually hunted during the early fall seasons in state forests throughout Minnesota.
- Fahey, Bridget, Fox Squirrel, http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/Sciurus_niger/, retrieved October 7, 2012
- Mason, Jim (2003), Fox Squirrel, http://www.gpnc.org/fox.htm, retrieved October 7, 2012
- Garst, Warren (1922), Eastern fox squirrel standing on sand, http://digitool.library.colostate.edu/R/?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=132848, retrieved October 7, 2012