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squirrel

Introduction

squirrel, name for small or medium-sized rodents of the family Sciuridae, found throughout the world except in Australia, Madagascar, and the polar regions; it is applied especially to the tree-living species. Tree squirrels range from the size of a mouse to the size of a house cat and vary greatly in color; some Asian tree squirrels are brilliantly patterned. In addition to the tree squirrels, the family includes the ground squirrel, chipmunk, marmot, woodchuck, prairie dog, and flying squirrel.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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