California Ground Squirrel

Have you seen these creatures running around in parks and digging holes?

California Ground Squirrel
California Ground Squirrel

What are they, and what are they doing with these holes? These creatures are known as California Ground Squirrels. And these holes they are building aren’t just holes. It’s their home! These are also known as burrows. These burrows can be made by the squirrels, but can be occupied by different creatures. They can be occupied by a rattlesnake, a weasel, and more!

We spotted the squirrel above on the rocky bank of the San Diego River, in the Southern Wildlife Preserve. He/she sat there calmly looking at us while we took the picture. Cool!

Like all creatures, California Ground Squirrels have a mating season. The mating season is usually in the early spring and lasts for about 3-4 weeks. After the squirrels have given birth, the baby squirrel stays with the parents for about 8 weeks. A California ground squirrel can only live for about 6 years of age.

Like every living thing in the world, California Ground Squirrels have a habitat. A habitat, or place where the creature lives, is a very important part of the creature. This creature is in many natural habitats, like the coastal shore, or the forests. These creatures can mainly be spotted near a coast, but can also be sighted farther away from the shore, like in places with trees.

These California Ground Squirrels mainly are herbivores, or animals that only eat plants. These creatures eat mainly seeds, grain, nuts, and sometimes roots. The California ground squirrel has cheek pouches, or a place to store extra food. These cheek pouches can hold food that can be eaten at later dates.

Kids Activities: Coloring pages for Thanksgiving.
Kids Activities: Coloring pages for Thanksgiving.
CA Ground Squirrel Coloring Page
Download the California Ground Squirrel Coloring Page

Get the California Ground Squirrel Coloring page along with a few other local creatures. And have fun coloring and learning.

San Diego Creature California Ground Squirrel Stats

Common Name: California ground squirrel

Latin Name: Otospermophilus beecheyi

Description: The California ground squirrels upper parts are mottled, containing a mixture of gray and white. Around the eyes are a whitish color, and around the tummy area is a yellowish gray.

Size: Body: 30 cm (12 in) Tail: 15 cm (5.9 in)

Weight: 280-738 g (9.9-26.0 oz)

Habitat: Earthy banks are more preferred for burrow homes
Fascinating fact: The tail swishing from side to side is called tail-swishing, which helps deter a snake during a snake attack

Status: Least Concern

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Genus: Otospermophilus
Species: O. beecheyi


Follow Us to Find Out More Cool Creature Stuff!

The San Diego Creature Project is an animated children’s program created by kids, for kids. Follow three brothers, their cousin, and their dog Ryan as they solve creature mysteries with science and learn about life in Southern California.


Sources:

iNaturalist (Retrieved 21AUG2020)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_ground_squirrel (Retrieved 21AUG2020)

 

San Diego Creature Project