Bookmarkable URL:http://hdl.handle.net/10217/52545

Scientific Classification

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Rodentia
Family:Sciuridae
Genus:Spermophilus
Genus species:Spermophilus parryii

Animal Characteristics

Head-Body Length:39 cm
Weight:700-800 g
Identification:The Arctic ground squirrel has a beige or tan coat. They have white spots on their back, a dark bushy tail, and white markings around their eyes.
Habitat:Arctic tundra
Diet:Herbivore: grasses, sedges, mushrooms, berries, willows, roots, seeds, flowers
Reproduction:Breeding takes place in May. A litter of 5-10 young is the product of a 25-day gestation period. The young grow very rapidly and are weaned by six weeks of age.
Arctic ground squirrels live in colonies of 5-50 which are controlled by a dominant male.
Behavior:Because of the extremely cold conditions, Arctic ground squirrels hibernate seven months out of the year (Sept-April). They are diurnal and move about by using the tundra glide - pressing their bodies flat against the ground. Vocal calls are used to warn others of nearby predators.
Status:No special status
Interesting Facts:As much as 40 percent of a squirrel's body weight can be lost during hibernation. Common predators of the Arctic ground squirrel are grizzly bears, foxes, wolves, ermine, and birds.

Other Information

Geographic:Northern North America Date:1959-09 Subjects:rodent
Arctic ground squirrel
Arctic souslik
Ground squirrels
Sciuridae
Rodents
Mammals
Vertebrates
Chordata