What Animal Decapitates a Squirrel Head?
The question of what animal decapitates a squirrel’s head has plagued park visitors for years. It seems as though no one has ever really answered this question, with visitors coming up with a list that ranges from birds to snakes to fish. Here’s a quick list of some of the more popular suspects. Sadly, some animals are just more dangerous than others. Snakes are notorious for this practice, but are they really as terrifying as you might think?
If you see a snake decapitate a squirrel head, you’ll probably want to know what caused it. While it might not look like a very cruel act, snakes decapitate a squirrel head for several reasons. One reason is that snakes don’t need to maintain their internal body temperature as much as endotherms do. Because they don’t need as much oxygen, snakes can survive for minutes or even hours after being decapitated.
When a snake is ready to attack a squirrel, it can spray it with venom, or it can swallow the unconscious squirrel, which it then decapitates. The size of the head depends on the snake, as do the size of the animal. Some squirrels even eat baby or small non-poisonous snakes. Other snakes and mammals are also known to prey on squirrels, including alligators, crocodiles, and snapping turtles.
A local veterinarian is investigating the death of two bobcats and two squirrels after coyotes decapitated the heads of the animals. The animals’ head and body parts were buried in holes that resembled bobcat dens. The tracks of coyotes and dogs are similar, but the former is more rectangular and has toenail marks. Both species are known for their aggressive behavior, though domestic dogs rarely kill their prey with such devastating violence.
While coyotes are not known for attacking people, they have a reputation for decapitating livestock. Typically, they kill livestock by biting the throat, though they have been known to pull down sheep and calves. They can also decapitate the head of a lamb by penetrating the rumen and intestines. The head and neck of a lamb is the most common part of the animal they attack, although coyotes are known to attack and dismember deer, too.
A couple of roosters have recently been found decapitated in New York’s Prospect Park. Julie Reinken was walking her dog when she came across the dead roosters, which were sitting in a clay pot with their heads removed. She spotted the skulls with a bunch of feathers around them. Her discovery came just two days after she discovered a severed goat head in Prospect Park.
While most people think of rodents as mainly seed eaters, many are omnivorous. Many species, including gray squirrels and eastern chipmunks, are known for tearing apart nests and killing adult birds. Some species of flying predators are also known to prey on squirrels, including birds and eggs. Birds and mice are also a major source of food for squirrels, often killing chicks and eggs.
A Whitefish Bay man discovered the severed head of a squirrel on his driveway early in the morning on July 23. He initially thought it was a result of an attack by another animal. But then he discovered a second squirrel head at 7:30 p.m. on his doorstep. The two incidents occurred about an hour apart at the same home, in the 5800 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, across from Richards Elementary School.
A few different kinds of fish can attack a squirrel. Largemouth bass, a large variety of smallmouth bass, and a few varieties of alligators may be attracted to the squirrel and eat its head. Other predators of squirrels include crocodiles and alligators. A fox may chase the squirrel into bushes, but a fish is likely to decapitate its head.
A Whitefish Bay man was awoken to find a severed squirrel head in his driveway on July 23. He immediately assumed it was a victim of a vicious animal attack. However, he found a second decapitated head on his doorstep at 7:30 p.m. on the same day. He has been living in the 5800 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, across from Richards Elementary School, since early July.
Although the Mink will not harm plants or turf, they may attack animals up to the size of a chicken, rabbit, or muskrat. When they kill an animal, they often make a neat pile of dead animals before decapitating the head. In the past, minks have killed a number of chickens in the area. Their speed and ability to kill large numbers of animals makes them a serious threat to chicken ranchers, but they are not known to carry disease to humans.
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.