From Asia to the Americas: A Tour of Squirrels Around the World

Get to know your squirrels: A Visual Guide to the different species around the world..

I used to work at Disney World and something I always found curious was when people would stop and huddle around a patch of grass and take pictures of squirrels. Living in the US, squirrels are, like, fine, but (I’m saying it) not remarkable.

This is an eastern gray squirrel in Central Park.

What I didn’t realize then is that the people visiting Disney World, from all around the world, were used to DIFFERENT squirrels. It turns out these creatures I pay little attention to look different in basically every country. It’s wild, so here we go: A Tour de Squirrel.

This is still an eastern gray squirrel, but in Washington D.C.

Let’s start in Canada. Squirrels there are black.

These are also eastern gray squirrels, but with a genetic mutation.

Germany has red squirrels with fun ear hair.

Red squirrels can also be found across the UK and Scotland.

Coming at you from the Thai-Malay Peninsula, it’s Prevost’s squirrel, who said, “I want to be like the squirrel version of Neopolitan ice cream.”

According to the Smithsonian, unlike ground squirrels, tree squirrels (like this squirrel) do not hibernate. Raise your hand if you just found out some squirrels hibernate.

Squirrels in Mexico have lil’ red spots on them.

This is a Mexican gray squirrel, native to Mexico and Guatemala.

Squirrels in Costa Rica step up the red and have fiery Pokémon-looking tails.

The variegated squirrel, like this one, is native to Costa Rica and Central America. It can actually take on a handful of different colors and patterns!

Brazilian squirrels opt for a nice walnut brown.

This is a Brazilian squirrel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Squirrels in Russia need to keep their ears warm with impressive squirrel ear hair.

I would’ve thought squirrels in Russia would have lighter fur because of the cold climate and snow, but this post is starting to prove I don’t know anything about squirrels.

Squirrels in China look like they’re wearing a little red apron.

This is a Pallas’s squirrel in Meri Snow Mountain National Park, China. Here’s a fun fact: because of the position of their eyes, they can see above them, behind them, and underneath them without moving their head.

Squirrels in Japan are, for some reason, exponentially more photogenic than other squirrels we’ve touched on.

This is a Japanese Hokkaido squirrel in Hokkaido, Japan.

Squirrels in India have STRIPES. They look like they want to be like skunks.

This is a five-striped palm squirrel in Rajasthan, India.

Here’s another squirrel in India. It’s the Malayan giant squirrel and OMFG look at how long that tail is.

This Malayan giant squirrel is in Assam, India.

Actually, India is home to three giant squirrel species and I know you’d be disappointed if I didn’t show you the other two, so here’s the Indian giant squirrel…

It’s way more beautiful than any other squirrel we’ve had so far. National Geographic says it’s got purple in its coat!

…and the grizzled giant squirrel.

Why are they called “giant squirrels”? Apparently, they can grow up to 18 inches long and weigh four pounds. I’ve never picked up a squirrel, but that sounds pretty heavy.

Squirrels in South Africa don’t want to be excluded from the stripes party but opted for one singular racing stripe.

This ground squirrel is in the Kalahari desert.

This Barbary ground squirrel from Spain also has stripes, but let’s not ask it any questions because it looks like it doesn’t want to be our friend.

This squirrel is in Spain, but the Barbary Ground Squirrel is native to northwest Africa.

Here’s a picture of a squirrel in Switzerland that looks like it just came out of the Wind in the Willows.

This is a red squirrel in the Swiss Alps.

Finally, here’s a photo of a plain ol’ grey squirrel from the US with a color mutation that turned it to a white squirrel.

White squirrels can be found in Brevard, North Carolina, a town which is kind of famous for them.


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