The squirrels in Guardian of Giria are Eurasian red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris).
- Red squirrels are tree-dwelling members of the rodent family. In northern Europe and Russia, they live mainly in coniferous forests, favouring pine and spruce trees. In other parts of Europe, they live in deciduous or mixed forests.
- There is no specific name for adults of each sex. Juveniles are called kittens. Females can have up to 2 litters per year, with each litter containing about 3-4 kittens.
- Red squirrel fur colour can vary from location to location, ranging from black to red, although the underbelly is almost always white. They shed their fur twice a year, developing a darker, thicker coat and bigger ear tufts for the winter months.
- Red squirrels sleep in nests called dreys or in hollows high up in trees. In winter, several red squirrels might share the same drey to keep wary.
- Red squirrels are omnivores, but mainly eat seeds from conifer cones and a variety of nuts and berries. Only occasionally do they eat baby birds or eggs.
- Red squirrels cache food, either buried underground or hidden in tree hollows, in preparation for winter. However, their memory is not great and they forget where they’ve hidden about 70% of their cache! This is very beneficial for trees as seeds are effectively planted by squirrels throughout the forest.
- Red squirrels typically live for about 3 years, but can live up to 7 years in the wild and up to 10 years in protected environments.
For more information, see here.
Image above shows the darker winter coat and longer ear tufts.