8. They are ex­perts at es­cap­ing dan­ger and will zigzag their way to safety if threat­ened

World of Animals - - 10 Reasons We’re Nutty About Squirrels -

Highly in­tel­li­gent and quick on their feet, squir­rels are ex­cel­lent at es­cap­ing the clutches of preda­tors. They can sprint at up to 32 kilo­me­tres (19.9 miles) per hour and when faced with dan­ger of­ten dart across the for­est floor in a zigzag pat­tern. Not only does this make it dif­fi­cult for a preda­tor to catch them or pre­dict which way they will go, but it also dis­guises their in­tended di­rec­tion of es­cape.

They have eyes set on the side of their head, al­low­ing them to spot a po­ten­tial preda­tor at­tack from any di­rec­tion. How­ever, when first faced with dan­ger, squir­rels of­ten stand com­pletely still. When the mo­ment is right, they will quickly run and take cover or will zag-zag their way to a tree trunk and climb to safety.

There is one par­tic­u­lar tree-dwelling species that makes no at­tempt to flee. The In­dian gi­ant squir­rel, one of the largest species of tree squir­rel, takes a more un­usual ap­proach to es­cap­ing the clutches of a bird of prey or a jaguar – flat­ten­ing its body against a tree.

In­dian gi­ant tree squir­relsflat­ten their bod­ies to evadepreda­tors

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