How to Tell Squirrel Age
When it comes to knowing how old a squirrel is, you can’t always make an educated guess. Baby squirrels are close to their mother until around 12 weeks of age. The tail spreads out and the eyes and ears open, but you can get an estimate by looking at the animal closely and keeping a close eye on it. Listed below are some helpful hints. Remember to use a professional’s advice when estimating the age of a squirrel.
Baby squirrels stay with their mother until 12 weeks old
During their first year, baby squirrels are pink and have no fur. They grow their front teeth and open their eyes in week two. By week four, they are fully furred and have white teeth. Their fur grows longer at the base of the tail and around their mouth. They are also feeble and active, and can walk a few steps. At this age, baby squirrels can eat solid foods.
There are a few ways to tell a squirrel’s age. Squirrels are born without teeth, ears, or hair, so if you find one without any of these characteristics, it’s likely younger than five weeks. However, if you see the eyes open, the squirrel is most likely older than that. Eyes that are open also indicate that it has developed its incisors.
Ears open at 10 weeks
If you’ve ever wondered how to tell squirrel age, you can simply observe the development of the ear. Newborn squirrels have no teeth, but by the time they reach three to four weeks, their lower incisors will have emerged. At this age, ears are still closed, and the eyes are cloudy or not present at all. However, you can also observe the appearance of fur on the body. Fur starts to appear around two to four and a half weeks old.
Malocclusions develop at 6 weeks
It is possible for children to develop malocclusions at a young age. Parents can encourage children to stop sucking their thumbs or limit the use of pacifiers to prevent them from developing malocclusions. Early detection and treatment can minimize the treatment time and dental costs, as treatment for malocclusions can be lengthy and costly in adults. The authors suggest that parents seek dental care for their child as early as six weeks of age to avoid future dental issues.
When you want to know the age of a squirrel, you may have noticed that some baby squirrels are nursing and will not eat. However, this can be easily remedied by giving them a small amount of formula through a syringe. Baby squirrels will continue to feed when they are in a nursing trance. You can wake them up by washing their face and giving them a small amount of formula to eat.
Malocclusions in baby squirrels
Malocclusions in baby squirrels can be painful and sometimes even fatal. The deformed front teeth are called incisors. Normally, these teeth wear down and grow together, but in some cases, the squirrel’s incisors cannot grow into the right alignment. When the teeth grow into the wrong position, they can puncture the roof of the mouth. This can lead to starvation and even death.
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.