SQUIRREL, common name for many rodents of the family Sciuridae, which also includes the woodchuck, CHIPMUNK, and PRAIRIE DOG, the genus Sciurus includes many common American species. The subfamily Sciurinae includes the tree and ground squirrels, with about 225 species; and the subfamily Petauristinae includes the so-called flying squirrels, with about 35 species.
Squirrels range in size from the pygmy squirrels of Africa, genus Myosciurus, which are about 13 cm (5 in) long, to the giant squirrels of Asia, genus Ratufa, which are about 90 cm (36 in) long.
The animals are in all parts of the world except Australia. Except for the ground squirrels, the animals live mainly in trees, and their food is largely vegetable (especially nuts, seeds, and buds), although they occasionally eat insects. Their habit of storing seeds helps in the dispersion of trees and other plant forms. In colder climates, ground squirrels commonly hibernate; tree squirrels do not. A collection of the most beautiful wallpapers featuring SQUIRREL.