name for small or medium-sized rodents
of the family Sciuridae, found throughout the world except in Australia, Madagascar, and the polar regions; it is applied especially to the tree-living species. Tree squirrels range from the size of a mouse to the size of a house cat and vary greatly in color; some Asian tree squirrels are brilliantly patterned. In addition to the tree squirrels, the family includes the ground squirrel
, prairie dog
, and flying squirrel
Sections in this article:
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.