(eastern gray squirrel)
A young eastern gray squirrel pokes its head out of its nest cavity. According to Koprowski, researchers classify nestling squirrel development into four stages, appearing at the day-ages given in parentheses:
(00-16) Postembryonic - young nurse and defecate
(17-30) Preliminary - young contract muscles irregularly
(30-40) Transition - young begin to groom and interact with nest-mates
(40-70) Locomotion and Socialization - squirrels exhibit increasing skill leading to independence from their mother (Koprowski, 1994).
Although still living with its mother, the pictured animal had begun foraging buds, so it had begun the last listed period of development.
Koprowski, J. L. (1994). Sciurus carolinensis. The American Society of Mammalogists Mammalian Species, 480. (University of Arizona Link).
United States, Virginia,
Image Date: 2008APR19
Image Species: Sciurus carolinensis carolinensis
(EXIF information is accurate – stamped in UTC).
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