The round-tailed ground squirrel lives in northern Mexico, Baja California, and the southwest U.S.; including Arizona, Nevada, and California. They live in various parts of the Yuma, Mojave, and Colorado deserts where their habitat includes extreme temps and very low humidity. They prefer flat, sandy places like scrub and creosote vegetation. Read more on these cute little critters.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Xerospermophilus tereticaudus
Weight: Up to 5.2 ounces
Length: Up to 6.1 inches
Lifespan: Up to 9 years
Now on to the Facts!
1.) Ground squirrels are diurnal, spending most of the day foraging for food and seeking shelter from the hot sun.
2.) A group of round-tailed ground squirrels is called a colony, dray, or a scurry.
3.) These cute critters are semi-colonial, but they do have their own burrows too. They chase away other squirrels if they get too close.
4.) The round-tails don’t hibernate but do go into a state called torpor (physical or mental inactivity – lethargy).
5.) They communicate via whistling sounds.
But wait, there’s more on the round-tailed ground squirrel!
6.) Round-tails primarily eat green vegetation like grass and leaves. They also eat seeds and insects; making them omnivores.
7.) The ground squirrels are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.
Did you know…?
When they come across a snake, they will stamp their feet and wave their tail from side to side while standing its ground with the snake. They will also try to push sand or dirt in the snake’s face with the front paws; in hopes of discouraging the snake from eating them.
8.) They mate between January to March. Females raise their young between March to April.