How Far Can a Grey Squirrel See?
A grey squirrel’s eyesight is excellent. They have two distinct types of cones – green and blue. These types of cones are responsible for colour vision in dichromatic animals. In addition to their green and blue eyesight, grey squirrels also have excellent hearing. Despite being born blind, grey squirrels can still see well and move quickly. Here are some fascinating facts about the gray squirrel. If you’d like to know how far a grey squirrel can see, keep reading!
Gray squirrels are born blind
Gray squirrels are born blind, so you can’t tell the difference between them and their sighted counterparts. Their eyes are very small, about the size of a human thumb, and they’re completely blind at birth. They rely on their mother for their food for about two or three months, and then they’re weaned after about seven or eight weeks. These little rodents are also incredibly fast – they can run up to 20 mph, and they have webbed membranes that allow them to glide.
Their eyesight is sharper than their focal eyesight
Compared to humans, grey squirrels’ eyesight is much sharper in the central part of their vision. The edges of their field of vision, however, have fuzzier images. This means that they can perceive objects much more clearly in dim light. Squirrels have a much wider field of vision than humans do, so they can see objects better than us in dim light.
They have good hearing
It’s a common misconception that gray squirrels can’t hear or see. In fact, they have both. Despite the fact that they can hear and see, grey squirrels aren’t as obnoxious as many people think. You can train your squirrel to recognize your presence by making similar sounds to them. Once the squirrels become used to your presence, they might start coming up to you.
They move quickly
While most mammals spend most of their time in trees, grey squirrels are known to move fast. They can reach speeds of up to 25 km/h while climbing a tree trunk and can even swim for several miles if they must. This ability to move quickly is vital for their survival, and their agility is one of the reasons they are so common and feared. They are also highly alert animals, which is why you may see them sitting quietly, ears erect, and tail flicking in the snow.
They are vulnerable to raccoons
Raccoons are one of the most destructive pests on earth. They can easily kill and eat a squirrel. They have evolved to live among humans and are a natural enemy. The most dangerous predators of raccoons include humans, owls, and hawks. Snakes will even prey on the young of rodents. However, if you don’t want to risk the raccoons destroying your property, you should try to scare them away with various aromas and visuals.
They are agents of reforestation
Grey squirrels are agents of reforestation, but they also act as scatter hoarders. They bury healthy acorns and nuts and eat damaged ones first. This allows the seeds and nuts to grow, and helps forest ecology. Scientists say this is the most important contribution gray squirrels make to reforestation. Here are three reasons why gray squirrels are agents of reforestation:
They are displaced by red squirrels
The distribution of red and grey rodents is changing dramatically. In Cumbria, red and grey squirrels co-exist, but the numbers are decreasing. The decline in the red population is attributed to the spread of grey squirrels, which carry the squirrel poxvirus disease. The incidence of this disease among red squirrels in Cumbria is associated with the arrival of greys. In Cumbria, the grey population has increased by 50% in the past 10 years, but the rate of disease has decreased.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.