Bookmarkable URL:http://hdl.handle.net/10217/52240

Scientific Classification

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Rodentia
Family:Sciuridae
Genus:Xerus
Genus species:Xerus sp.

Animal Characteristics

Head-Body Length:20-46 cm
Weight:300-945 g
Identification:The African ground squirrel has coarse hair that is a brownish to reddish-gray color. Its underparts are buff to white. Some species even have stripes on their sides.
Habitat:Woodlands, grasslands, rocky country
Diet:Omnivore: roots, seeds, pods, fruit, grain, insects, small vertebrates, eggs
Reproduction:Females give birth to one litter a year, each containing 1-3 young. Most species breed throughout the year.
African ground squirrels establish colonies within a burrow system.
Behavior:Much like the North American prairie dog, these rodents are diurnal, terrestrial, and live in burrows that they dug themselves. They do not hibernate or store food.
Status:No special status
Interesting Facts:South Africans often keep African ground squirrels in their homes as pets. Other cultures see them as pests because they destroy crops and may carry rabies and the bubonic plague.

Other Information

Geographic:Africa Date:1958-1988 Subjects:African ground squirrel (unidentified)
rodent
Ground squirrels
Sciuridae
Rodents
Mammals
Vertebrates
Chordata