Answers to Squirrel Quiz

1. b. 280
          Estimates actually vary, but usually range from 275-300.

2. a. Shadow tail
          The Greeks obviously latched onto the squirrel's most notable feature when deciding on a name.

3. c. Pika
          The pika, a cute, rodent-like animal found in high elevations, is actually most closely related to rabbits.

4. b. Australia
          This is sort of a trick question. Some modern Australian cities now have resident populations of gray squirrels. But these localized populations have been recently introduced from North America. Australia does not have any native species of squirrel.

5. b. False
          Many ground squirrels do hibernate, especially those living in cold climates. However, tree squirrels do not hibernate.

6. c. India
          The Indian giant squirrel, or Malabar giant squirrel, can measure almost 3 feet long with its tail, and weighs over 4 pounds.

7. d. Grasp onto tree branches.
          Squirrel tails have many uses, but they are not prehensile, or capable of grasping objects (like the tails of some monkeys, for example).

8. a. eastern gray squirrel.
          The familiar city squirrel so well known to urban dwellers.

9. b. patagium
          This flap of skin extends between the front and hind legs on each side of the flying squirrel, providing a pair of "wings" to allow the squirrel to glide distances of up to 150 yards or more.

10. d. northern flying squirrel
          All squirrel species are diurnal, or awake during the daytime, except the flying squirrels, which are active primarily at night.

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