Which Handshape is Used For a Small Animal Such As a Squirrel Or Cat?
You may have heard that a squirrel or a cat has four hands, but have you ever wondered which handshape they use? In this article, you will learn the characteristics of each type of hand and the handshapes of a squirrel, cat, and mouse. To get started, learn how to identify the four different types of hands by the way they look and feel.
Characteristics of a squirrel or cat’s handshape
The handshape of a cat or squirrel is a clue to its species. Both have long bodies and soft, fine fur. They also have large eyes. Their hindfeet have five digits and the forefeet have four. Sciurids have claws on all terminal phalanges and vibrissae, which are important for tactical stimuli. They are also variable in size and fur color.
The skulls of both species are similar, but some are distinctly different. The skull of the gray squirrel is shorter than the fox, while its rostrum is longer than its counterpart. The masseteric tubercle, a bump on the rostrum, is the origin of the lateral masseter muscle. They also have small infraorbital foramena, long jugals, and well-developed postorbital processes. Squirrels also have large, but non-inflated bullae, and their hands are similar to cats, but not identical.
The skeleton of a flying squirrel is similar, with a large tail that serves as a rudder. The tail is flattened, and the flying squirrel typically lands on its target feet first. If it lands on a tree, it often darts to the opposite side to avoid predators. But a flying squirrel may have a less-than-perfect landing if it leaps without a plan. It might end up in water, where it will lose flaps of skin and drown.
Characteristics of a mouse’s handshape
Mice have a very distinctive hand shape and are not to be mistaken for other smaller creatures like squirrels or cats. Mice have small, round bodies, prominent ears, and short, hairless tails. Their small size makes them surprisingly agile and quick, and their short tails can be as long as their body. The largest mouse, the flat-haired mouse, weighs around 18 grams, has a body length of ten to twelve centimeters, and a tail length of only seven to eight centimeters.
Mice and rats look very similar, but they are different animals. The most obvious differences between them are their tails. A squirrel’s tail is shorter and broader than that of a rat, and it’s covered with fur all the way to its tail. Squirrels tend to run in a wave-like motion, while rats move by hopping.
Mice are extremely fast and agile. They move by scurrying along objects or walls. They are also very shy, and you might not notice them until they surprise you. Mice are also often mistaken for cats because they have a long tail that looks like a cat’s. But don’t be fooled: these mice are the best proof of whether a cat or a squirrel is a mouse or vice versa.
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.