The Kerala squirrel. Wed 3rd Oct, 2012
Good Morning Everyone
I am standing in for Jan today so I hope you enjoy reading about this beauty
The Indian giant squirrel, or Malabar giant squirrel, (Ratufa indica) is a large tree squirrel species genus Ratufa native to India. It is a large-bodied diurnal, arboreal, and herbivorous squirrel found in South Asia.
The Kerala squirrel has a conspicuous two-toned (and sometimes three-toned) color scheme. The colors involved can be creamy-beige, buff, tan, rust, brown, or even a dark seal brown. The underparts and the front legs are usually cream colored, the head can be brown or beige, however there is a distinctive white spot between the ears. Adult head and body length varies around 14 inches (36 cm) and the tail length is approximately 2 ft (0.61 m). Adult weight – 2 kg (4.41 lb).
The Indian giant squirrel is an upper-canopy dwelling species, which rarely leaves the trees, and requires “tall profusely branched trees for the construction of nests.”It travels from tree to tree with jumps of up to 6 m (20 ft). When in danger, the Ratufa indica often freezes or flattens itself against the tree trunk, instead of fleeing. Its main predators are the birds of prey and the leopard. The Giant Squirrel is mostly active in the early hours of the morning and in the evening, resting in the midday. It is a shy, wary animal and not easy to discover
The species is endemic to deciduous, mixed deciduous, and moist evergreen forests of peninsular India, reaching as far north as the Satpura hill range of Madhya Pradesh (approx. 22° N).
As can be seen in the range map of this species, it occupies isolated ranges that are widely separated from each other, thus producing conditions favorable for speciation. The squirrels found within each of these isolated ranges share distinctive color schemes, making it easy to identify which region a particular squirrel is from, as well as leading to the controversy (see section below on Subspecies) as to whether these different color schemed subspecies ought to be considered as unique species
The Indian Giant Squirrel lives alone or in pairs. They build large globular nests of twigs and leaves, placing them on thinner branches where large predators can’t get to them. These nests become conspicuous in deciduous forests during the dry season. An individual may build several nests in a small area of forest which are used as sleeping quarters, with one being used as a nursery
Captive breeding of the Malayan giant squirrel, a close relative has indicated births in March, April, September and December. The young weigh 74.5 gms at birth and have a length of 27.3 cms. In Canara, the Indian Giant Squirrel has been spotted with young in March
More Info from : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_giant_squirrel
The Dyfi Osprey Project and the Scottish wildlife Trust have kindly given their permission for us to post still and video images from their webcams. To visit their sites please click on the relevant link. Loch of the Lowes. Dyfi Osprey Project.