Fox Squirrel vs Red Squirrel: A Comparison of Differences

Fox squirrel vs red squirrel: Morphological characteristics

Fox squirrels have a brownish-gray to brownish-yellow coat that varies seasonally.

fox squirrel vs red squirrel

The fur of the red squirrel varies in color depending on the season and where it is found, and in the Palearctic, the species has more variation in fur color than any other mammal. The coloration of the head and back of these squirrels ranges from light red, brown, red to black, and some individuals are even completely black in the United Kingdom, where red fur is most common, and in other parts of Eurasia, where species with differently-colored fur coexist. All red squirrels, however, have white or cream fur on the chest and abdomen.

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Fox squirrel vs red squirrel: Habitat

Fox squirrels live in open forests, understory vegetation, the ideal habitat is located in farmland on the branches and forks of large trees, mostly selected pines and oaks.

fox squirrel vs red squirrel

They generally do not have a specific range and it is common for them to share living space with other red squirrels. It lives an arboreal life and is active during the day. It is lively, good at jumping, can leap from a tree to another tree 4-5 meters away. The European red squirrel forages alone, is timid and refuses to share food.

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Fox squirrel vs red squirrel: Food habits

The fox squirrel’s diet consists of a wide variety of food items including tree buds, insects, ant eggs, tubers, bulbs, rhizomes, bird eggs, and pines. Seeds of spring fruiting trees, fruits, pecans, mulberries, mushrooms, fungi, and berries; and agricultural crops such as corn, soybeans, oats, and wheat.

fox squirrel vs red squirrel

The red squirrel’s diet consists mainly of seeds, especially those in cones, which they can remove without difficulty. In addition, fungi, bird eggs, berries, and young twigs. Sap is also obtained as a food source. They spend 60 to 80% of their lives searching for food and eating.

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Fox squirrel vs red squirrel: Breeding Status

Fox squirrels enter estrus for the first time in mid-December or January, and again in June. Usually producing two litters a year, females become sexually mature at 10 to 11 months of age and usually produce their first litter at one year of age. Gestation occurs between 44 and 45 days. The earliest litters occur in late January, with most births occurring in mid-March and July. The average litter size is 3, which can be determined by different seasons and food conditions.

fox squirrel vs red squirrel

Red squirrels generally mate in the late winter months of February-March or in the summer months of June-July. Up to two litters can be born per year, while the number of litters is 3-4 and up to 6. The gestation period is about 38-39 days. The female raises the young alone and each litter weighs only 10-15 grams. Hair grows on the 21st day of life, eyes and ears open after 3-4 weeks, and teeth are fully grown after 42 days. Newborn squirrels are able to eat hard food after 40 days and can thus begin to forage away from the nest. Despite this, they will still suckle on their mother’s milk until they are completely weaned after 8-10 weeks.

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Size Comparison of Humans and Fox Squirrels

While fox squirrels may be one of the larger squirrels around, especially in North America, where they are the largest tree squirrels, you don’t need to worry about them overtaking you anytime soon.

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The largest fox squirrels will only be a little longer than your forearm (from your fingertips to your elbow). Their tails are roughly the same length, making the fox squirrel roughly the same length as your arm from nose to tip of thick tail. This is true for Delmarva fox squirrels, but some subspecies may be a little smaller and closer to the length of your forearm.

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While fox squirrels can be up to nearly 3 feet long when on all fours, you won’t even notice them standing up as tall as two feet. A picture circulated a while back and many people wondered if a fox squirrel could be as big as a human a year old, but experts helpfully explained that fox squirrels vary greatly in height and length – mainly because of their long, bushy tails!

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When it comes to weight, fox squirrels don’t even weigh as much as babies. After all, the average newborn weighs 7.5 pounds, more than twice as much as the largest fox squirrels.

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However, while fox squirrels may not be comparable to humans in size, as the largest tree squirrel in North America, do you know how they stack up against some of the other most common squirrels around?

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Fox squirrel vs red squirrel

Of all the squirrels in North America, the red squirrel is easily recognized by its smaller size compared to larger species such as the gray squirrel or fox squirrel. The red squirrel is a common creature in Europe and Asia that is just beginning to recover after the introduction of the invasive gray squirrel.

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With a maximum weight of only 12 ounces, it may take as many as nearly six red squirrels to equal the much larger fox squirrel. Even at maximum weight, it takes four red squirrels to balance the weight.

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The maximum length of a red squirrel from nose to tail usually reaches a limit of about 17 inches, almost half of which is the tail. At their smallest adult size, they are only about a foot long. When comparing the smallest red squirrel to the largest fox squirrel, you will see that it would take up to three red squirrels standing nose to tail tip to be as long as a fox squirrel.

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Compared to fox squirrels, red squirrels have a few other special features besides their small size. In fact, the most distinguishing feature of red squirrels is their ear hair, which can reach up to 2 inches, the equivalent of two paper clips.

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What odors squirrels are afraid of

Squirrels are afraid of all odors that have nothing to do with food, whether it’s scent, spice, or smoke that gets their attention. In addition, the slightest sound can cause them to panic, and they can be considered very timid animals. If you keep it as a pet you must provide it with a quiet living environment.