Squirrels are fascinating creatures that can be found in various forms across the globe. There are more than 200 species of squirrels worldwide, and one of them is the intriguing fox squirrel (Sciurus niger). Each species of squirrel possesses unique characteristics, and one of the key differences among them is their size.

To better understand and appreciate these adorable mammals, a comparison of the fox squirrel’s size with other common squirrel species will be discussed in this article. This examination will highlight what makes the fox squirrel particularly special and distinctive in the diverse world of squirrels. So, let’s embark on a journey to explore the enthralling size distinctions among these amazing creatures.

Types of Fox Squirrels

Fox squirrels are relatively large tree-dwelling rodents, with lengths between 20 and 30 inches, and their tail making up nearly half their size. Although fox squirrels can be as long as a house cat, their weight typically maxes out at 2 pounds. Some subspecies, like the Delmarva fox squirrel, can weigh up to 3 pounds.

In the United States, there are around 12 distinct types of fox squirrels, each with varying sizes and colors due to adapting to their unique habitats. The different types of fox squirrels include:

  • Southern fox squirrel (S. n. niger)
  • Mangrove fox squirrel (S. n. avicinnia)
  • Upland fox squirrel (S. n. bachmani)
  • Texas fox squirrel (S. n. limitis)
  • Delmarva fox squirrel (S. n. cinereus)
  • Pineywoods fox squirrel (S. n. ludovicianus)
  • Western fox squirrel (S. n. rufiventer)
  • Sherman’s fox squirrel (S. n. shermani)
  • Delta fox squirrel (S. n. subauratus)
  • Eastern fox squirrel (S. n. vulpinus)

These squirrels occupy diverse environments, from mature forests to suburban backyards, and can be found throughout the eastern United States, North Carolina, and in Mexican Fox Squirrel ranges as far south as Jalisco. They favor habitats that include oak and hickory trees and are known for their arboreal and ground-dwelling activities. Fox squirrels also construct nests in trees, providing shelter and protection from predators.

Human vs. Fox Squirrel Size Comparison

The fox squirrel is known as the largest tree squirrel in North America, but how do they compare to human size? Let’s take a closer look at the differences between humans and fox squirrels in terms of size and weight.

Fox squirrels are relatively large compared to other squirrels, with a total length of around 1 to 2.5 feet, including their bushy tail. Their size resembles the length of a human arm from the fingertips to the elbow, which is true for the Delmarva fox squirrel. Some subspecies, however, may be a bit smaller.

Despite their length, you won’t find fox squirrels standing upright at nearly the same height as humans. They have been known for their long and bushy tails, which tend to significantly contribute to their overall length. A comparison between a standing human toddler and a fox squirrel might lead you to think they have a similar height; however, this perception is deceptive due to the fox squirrel’s long tail.

In terms of weight, fox squirrels generally weigh between 1 and 2.5 pounds. This is significantly lighter than a newborn human baby, who weighs around 7.5 pounds on average.

To sum up, while fox squirrels are the largest tree squirrels in North America, they are still dwarfed in size and weight when compared to humans. When considering other common squirrels in the region, the fox squirrel stands out in terms of size, offering a unique and interesting comparison.

Grey Squirrel Vs. Fox Squirrel Size

Grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), a well-known species in North America, are notably larger than the red squirrel but smaller when compared to the fox squirrel. When considering their full length, including the tail, grey squirrels can reach up to 20 inches, while the largest fox squirrels may grow up to 30 inches in length. However, the smaller adult fox squirrels are more comparable in size to grey squirrels.

One more distinctive trait is their weight; a fox squirrel might be as heavy as three grey squirrels combined. Both grey and fox squirrels share a similar minimum tail length of about 8 inches. Grey squirrels, though, may only reach up to 10 inches in tail length, while fox squirrels can sport tails as long as 13 inches—that’s over a foot!

Despite these differences in size, people often confuse grey squirrels for fox squirrels. One key identifier is the coloration of their fur. Fox squirrels have a rust-colored belly, while grey squirrels have a white belly. Observing this subtle difference in appearance can help differentiate between these two North American squirrel species.

Red Squirrel Vs. Fox Squirrel Size

Red squirrels are notably smaller than fox squirrels, making them easy to identify among other North American squirrel species. Typically, a red squirrel weighs only around 12 ounces at most, meaning you would need nearly six red squirrels to equal the weight of a larger fox squirrel. Even at their maximum weight, four red squirrels would be needed to balance the scale with a fox squirrel.

When looking at their lengths, red squirrels can reach up to 17 inches from nose to tail, with half of that length being their bushy tail. At their smallest, adult red squirrels are approximately a foot long. Comparing the smallest red squirrel to the largest fox squirrel reveals that it would take up to three red squirrels lined up in a row from nose to tail to equal the fox squirrel’s impressive length.

In addition to their size differences, red squirrels have a unique feature that distinguishes them from fox squirrels—ear tufts. These tufts can grow up to 2 inches tall, similar in height to two stacked paperclips. Their smaller size and ear tufts make them easily distinguishable from the fox squirrels.

As diurnal creatures, red squirrels are active during the day. Their diet mainly consists of seeds, nuts, berries, and fruits, but they can also consume insects, fungi, and tree buds during winter and the breeding season. The American red squirrel, in particular, defends its year-round exclusive territory, which is essential for its survival.

Both red and fox squirrels exhibit varying behaviors and territorial habits, but their differences in size and appearance set them apart. While red squirrels are smaller and have distinctive ear tufts, fox squirrels are larger and often exhibit variation in their fur coloration. These differences play essential roles in their adaptability and survival within their respective habitats.

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