Title Image

Title Image


This blog is predominately about camera trapping in California. We camera trap to save our souls and to teach primary school students about biology and conservation. We will also touch on other camera trapping news and musings, sets from afar, mediocre herpetology, sucky birding, and other natural history discussions.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Squirrel Butt

This is not a great capture but it is the only one I got of a new to us camera-trapped species. We were hoping for more interesting Ground Squirrels like the Mohave ground squirrel, Xerospermophilus mohavensis, or Round-tailed ground squirrels, Spermophilus tereticaudus, but all we got was this White-tailed antelope ground squirrel, Ammospermophilus leucurus.

If you are really into ground squirrels at least you can take solace in the fact that he is showing off his money maker.


Crop of the above image


  1. These little critters are pretty amazing!

    One question that we've had about them follows:

    Kangaroo rats and pocket mice (family Heteromyidae) are lauded as epitomizing adaptation in extreme environments. One fact that regularly circulates is that in laboratories, some heteromyids have live out entire lives without a single drop of water! Physiologists like to discuss their loops of Henleys and discuss how they efficaciously extract water from food items and keep it in their systems. Well . . . how about these squirrels who are active during the day? What do they have special about their behaviour, physiology, or morphology that makes them suitable to be active in the hottest, driest desert in North America? I just know about their shady tails: What else?

    Thanks :)

  2. Christopher:

    I too had heard about not needing to give K-rats any water and that they are able to extract all the water they need from the seeds and plants that they eat. Remarkable kidneys. I know very little about how ground squirrels have evolved to live in the desert especially being day active like you said. They must have much different physiology than many of the other ground squirrels of California that have much more temperate weather and more moisture available to them. If you ever run into any studies on this please send them our way.