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A large black squirrel was sitting on a power pole attempting to get his back leg from a bar of electricity. An old, abandoned warehouse in the near of a residential neighborhood was now the location of a game of hide-and-seek. The squirrel's tail had been cut off by a hungry cat, who was now hiding and waiting to catch his prize. Both the squirrel and the cat were terrified.Squirrels are extremely cute, agile, friendly and fearless, making them one of the most interesting rodents. They have small heads with big beady eyes, small flexible ears, soft bodies with tiny paws and, their most defining characteristic – extremely bushy tails. Some species of squirrels have bushier tails than others, but all of them have in common that their tails are almost as long as their bodies, very bushy and very useful, they’re not there just to make them look cute.
Their tail is very functional in helping the squirrel combat extreme weather conditions, almost like a portable shelter. Squirrels are warm-blooded creatures who like to be comfortable during cold winter months, and their bushy tails are indispensable tools in keeping their bodies toasty warm. They can be used to shade the squirrel from the glaring sun, helping them maintain a cool body temperature during the hot summer days by diverting some of the blood flow to the tail and thus lowering the main body temperature. It can also help keep the squirrel dry during a light drizzle if there is no shelter available.
As a visual indicator, squirrels’ bushy tails frequently sway in the wind, when not being used.Amazingly, though squirrels depend highly on the use of their tail for everyday activities and even survival and mating, a squirrel can live without a tail. Squirrels sometimes lose their tail or parts if it in fights with other squirrels, encounters with predators or accidents like getting it trapped in a door. So, while it is not essential for survival, the tail serves a variety of functions beyond giving the squirrel its signature look. (Source:www.motherearthnews.com)