Paul Foster's picture

Carnivorous Squirrel?

Observed: 1st May 2012 By: Paul FosterPaul Foster’s reputation in MammalsPaul Foster’s reputation in MammalsPaul Foster’s reputation in Mammals
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Description:

Observed over a couple of days, initially the squirrel concentrated on getting the mixture out of the centre of a bone left in the garden by the dog. Then it was observed attacking the bone itself, gnawing off the edge as can be seen in the picture. Is it just adding calcium?

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Eastern Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) interacts

Comments

leenestofvipers's picture

teeth

Gnawing to keep the teeth nice and short.

Gill Sinclair's picture

Minerals?

I would say that grey squirrels (and reds too) are omnivores anyway, because they do eat birds' eggs and small chicks, but this one is probably just getting some minerals, especially calcium.
Similarly, I saw a spotted deer in India chewing on an antler it had found on the ground, and the guide told us that this was their way of getting minerals (and good recycling too!).
Great photos of the squirrel by the way - made me laugh out loud:-)

Gill Sinclair
OU Certificate in Contemporary Science
www.gillsinclair.net
Twitter @Gill_Sinclair

DavidHowdon's picture

Calcium

Yes I think it is a mineral gathering thing. Had one doing this for a few days in my garden once, accompanied by a loud scraping noise - took me a while to work out what it was.

http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/196856