As colorful as it is, a Red Squirrel’s tail blends in well with the landscape.
When I was young, I recall many boys collecting squirrel tails as tiny trophies to show off their prowess with a gun or slingshot. I don’t think any of them ate squirrel at their house, so the whole point of killing the squirrel was to get the tail.
Besides trophies, are there any other uses for a squirrel’s tail? Of course there are:
- Red Squirrels use their tails for warmth. A tail’s fluffiness would certainly increase the loft surrounding their bodies in the cold.
- Evert alert, Red Squirrels use their tails as little flags with which to signal one another and other creatures in the forest should a predator enter their environment.
- Mostly arboreal, Red Squirrels leap from branch to branch as a means of moving across their territory. Their tails help to balance their fall so that they are more likely than not, to land according to plan.
- Some have suggested that a squirrel will use its tail as a diversion for predators and as something to be caught and ripped apart (rather than their bodies) during an attack.
Regardless of its many uses, a squirrel’s tail is a beautiful ornament for an amazing little creature, but best left attached.