Indian Giant Squirrel Facts
- Firstly, the truly mesmerizing Indian Giant Squirrel represents an extremely large variety of tree squirrel. It also sometimes goes by the name of the Malabar Giant Squirrel.
- In addition, scientists presently acknowledge a total of four different subspecies of the incredible mammal. Most notably, all of these exist on the same continent as the primary species.
- Further, within its endemic range, the remarkable animal appears to exist in fairly large numbers. Due to this pleasantly surprising fact, the IUCN currently lists it as a Species of Least Concern.
- Finally, unlike most related species, this visually stunning creature is actually quite vocal. It also produces different sounds for such things as warnings, mating, and territorial calls.
Indian Giant Squirrel Physical Description
First of all, the breathtaking Indian Giant Squirrel qualifies as a true giant of its kind. Adults attain an average body length of about 14 in (35.5 cm). But, the incredible tail adds another 24 in (61 cm).
However, its remarkable size alone does not make this species stand out to observers. That’s because it generally presents a stunning two-toned (and sometimes three-toned) color pattern.
Furthermore, the exact pattern and combinations of colors varies between individuals. But, these most commonly include shades of tan, buff, rust, brown, and even a creamy-beige.
Finally, despite its size, it does not attain a great weight. Mature adults typically average about 4.4 lb (2 kg).
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Rodentia
- Family: Sciuridae
- Genus: Ratufa
- Species: R. indica
Indian Giant Squirrel Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The almost kaleidoscopic Indian Giant Squirrel inhabits a specific portion of the country of India, in Asia. This range consists of the peninsular part of the country, and extends as far north as Madhya Pradesh.
In addition, it thrives in several different habitat types within that area. Due to this, it appears in evergreen forests, deciduous forests, and mixed forests, as well.
It also spends the vast majority of tits time in the upper canopy, rarely descending. It moves from tree to tree with great leaps, that can be as much as 20 ft (6 m).
Some of the subspecies are omnivorous, but the Indian Giant Squirrel itself has a herbivorous diet. It mainly feeds on various nuts, flowers, fruit, and tree bark. In turn, it falls prey to leopards and birds of prey.