How to Determine the Sex of a Squirrel
There are a few ways to tell if a squirrel is male or female. Observe its behavior and nipples. Pay attention to its territoriality. Its behavior is not always indicative of gender, so you may want to seek professional advice. In the meantime, observe it in its natural habitat. Then, you can determine its sex through other means. And if all else fails, you can always ask for help from your local animal control service or wildlife center.
Observing a squirrel’s behavior
Observing a squirrel’s behavior is one way to tell if it’s a male or a female. Female squirrels are promiscuous and will mate with several males or females at once. Male squirrels do not have specific mating preferences. If a squirrel is carrying an infant, it’s likely a female. However, if you have a hard time observing a squirrel’s behavior, you can use some simple tips to help you find out which gender it is.
Observing a squirrel’s behavior is a simple way to tell whether it is a male or a female. During my REU project, I’ve observed squirrels wearing logger collars, and I’ve been able to get a lot of useful information. One lesson in determining the sex of a squirrel is called “Squirrel Behavior Student Directions,” and it contains a sample national database and an ethogram table.
Observing a squirrel’s play habits can give you clues about its sex. Grey squirrels, for example, often perform solitary play involving tumbling, creeping, and rubbing their bodies against objects. Red squirrels, on the other hand, frequently kick, scratch, or mount objects. One behaviourist from the Max Planck Institute says that observing a squirrel’s behavior helps identify its sex.
Observing its nipples
One of the easiest ways to determine a squirrel’s sex is to look at its nipples. If they are bigger than one centimeter apart, the squirrel is likely a female. Otherwise, it is most likely a male. If they are closer together, the squirrel is a female. Female squirrels are larger than male squirrels and have larger testes.
If you’re able to spot the female Red squirrel, you’ve got a good chance of identifying its sex. These animals have swollen testes during breeding season. The females, on the other hand, will have eight teats, sometimes more. When a female squirrel is nursing a kitten, she may have extra teats. However, males lack sexual dimorphism, and they can’t be reliably classified by appearance alone.
Using a magnifying glass, you can observe a squirrel’s nipples and determine the sex of the animal. Females have active codes that increase as their reproductive condition progresses. In addition to determining the sex of a squirrel, it is possible to identify its age by looking at its nipples.
Observing its territoriality
One of the easiest ways to tell the sex of a squirrel is to observe its territorial behavior. Some squirrels are more territorial than others, and you can easily spot a dominant squirrel by the way of a snarl. The majority of squirrels are territorial, but some are less so. A squirrel’s territorial behavior is not always clear, but it is usually very apparent when there is a dispute.
During mating season, male and female gray squirrels engage in a mating chase in order to attract a female. Usually the dominant male will find the female first and mat her, if no other male is in the vicinity. However, female squirrels do not stay in estrus for very long. Instead, they spend a short time chasing each other through the field. The female will then begin her mating chase, demonstrating her ability to sustain a relationship and be sustainable.
In some cases, male and female red squirrels will share the same territory. In other cases, it will be easier to determine the sex of a squirrel by observing its territorial behavior. Females are more territorial than males, and they can be spotted through their behavior. Males tend to be larger than females, but both sexes will share the same territory.
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.