Prevost's squirrel, also called the tri-colored squirrel, is a member of a genus called Callosciurus, which are also known as the "beautiful squirrels." Although I think this name could be applied to all squirrels, it is easy to see how Prevost's squirrel earns this description. It is possibly the most strikingly colored mammals in the world, with a jet-black back and tail, white hind legs and flanks, and reddish-orange underparts.
Prevost's squirrels are native to southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra, and nearby smaller islands. They inhabit mostly the canopy of lowland forests, and also venture into gardens and other cultivated areas. They are relatively large tree squirrels, with the body about 11 inches long and the tail about 8-9 inches, and weighing about two pounds. They are diurnal and for the most part solitary except when the female is raising young.
The diet is varied and omnivorous. Prevost's squirrels eat nuts, fruits, seeds, buds, flowers, insects including ants and terminates, beetle larvae, small reptiles, and sometimes birds' eggs. They carry fruit far from the tree in which it was found before eating it and dropping the seeds, which helps to encourage the growth of a new generation of fruit trees in the forest.
Because they live in an environment where there is no real winter season, breeding for the Prevost's squirrel can occur throughout the year, and a female may have up to three litters in a year. The litter usually consists of 1-4 babies, which are able to leave the nest by about 6 weeks old.
When alarmed or excited, the Prevost's squirrel can produce a trill and a piercing whistle to warn other squirrels in the area of any danger. Like other tree squirrels, it also uses its tail like a flag to communicate. It is extremely agile when moving about in the tree canopies, and jumps exceptionally long distances.
The people of Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia are lucky to have such a beautiful, strikingly colored squirrel where they live!