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Scientific Classification

Genus species:Sciurus niger

Animal Characteristics

Head-Body Length:45-70 cm
Weight:504-1062 g
Identification:This large tree squirrel is considerably bigger and heavier than the gray squirrel. There are three-color phases of the eastern fox squirrel: black, gray, and red. The top of the head in all color phases is almost invariably black, while the nose and ears are usually a creamy white. The fur is coarse, the feet large with naked soles, and the tail is flattened and well furred.
Habitat:Hardwood forests on uplands, urban areas, along shrubby fencerows
Diet:Herbivore: nuts, seeds, fruit, plant material, rarely animals such as birds are eaten
Reproduction:The eastern fox squirrel mates mid-winter and often again in the spring. The 1-6 (usually three) naked and blind young are born 45 days later. Females may have two litters per year. The life span of fox squirrels is 4-6 years.
Although the Eastern fox squirrel will feed in common areas and several individuals may den together in winter, this animal is not very social.
Behavior:The eastern fox squirrel is most active in the morning and late afternoon. It buries nuts that it will locate in winter with its keen sense of smell.
Status:No special status
Interesting Facts:The eastern fox squirrel is the largest tree squirrel. It is possible to tell if a food cache is from a eastern fox or a eastern gray squirrel because food debris is more evident with the eastern fox. If corn is in the diet, the eastern fox squirrel hauls the entire cob to a feeding perch, where the eastern gray bites the kernels from the cob.

Other Information

Geographic:Eastern United States Date:1958-1988 Subjects:rodent
Eastern fox squirrel
Fox squirrel