A few days ago I came across a highly informative article in the North Carolina State University’s student newspaper about how squirrels communicate:

“The neat thing about squirrels is that they have four or five different tail flicks,” Engell said. “You can get a lot of information just from the way it flicks its tail.”

For example, if a squirrel flicks it tail in a jerk-like, front-to-back motion, it is signaling to other squirrels that it wants to mate or feed with them. However, if it quickly waves its tail in a front-to back motion instead of jerking it, the disturbed squirrel is telling a human or predator how it feels.

Also, the article reveals that the squirrel is North Carolina’s state mammal.

To follow up on last week’s piece about the Squirrels of Benin, I’m sad to say they were defeated by Uganda’s team, but the Baby Squirrels of Benin, the country’s junior soccer league, is faring much better, having trounced Nigeria’s usually dominant Eaglets. Take that, you big bullies!

And finally, it’s odd, but I’ve been getting a lot of Google hits from people searching for answers to the age-old question of what happens to squirrels when they die. One reader landed on my entry related to that topic and left the following touching tale:

Today I heard a squirrel chirping in my back yard. I looked and my little dog had somehow managed to catch a kill a squirrel. The chirping squirrel was another squirrel getting on to my little dog I suppose. I put the dog away and went to bury the squirrel. However, the other live squirrel seemed to really be watching and interested in it. So rather than burying it I set the dead squirrel at the bottom of the tree. I went inside and withing about two minutes the live squirrel came down and inspected the dead squirrel. She then proceeded to attempt to carry the dead squirrel up a tree. Couldn’t make it but did make it over a chain link fence and up another tree. She carried that little boy squirrel all the way up a huge tree to what appears to be a squirrel nest. I was so upset with my dog and still am. It makes you wonder why she did it? It was a bit sad.

Very poignant. And they say animals don’t have feelings. Anyhow, thanks, Liz, for sharing your story.

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