African Tree Squirrel
The (Paraxerus cepapi) African Tree Squirrel (as known in South Africa) but also known as the ‘Smith Bush Squirrel’ and the ‘Yellow Footed Squirrel’ is in fact one of eleven African Bush Squirrels of the genus ‘paraxerus’ which are only found in Africa.
This common well know African Tree Squirrel is approximately 350 mm (14 in) in length and of varying colour dependent on location. For instance in the western and arid parts of its range it is a pale grey colour and in the eastern localities the African Tree Squirrel is a lot browner, with its head and its legs a rusty colour, colouration on the chest varies from yellowish to buffy colouring in the east, to white in the west.
Feeding mainly on their close proximity vegetation, these quick and agile rodents are not adverse to taking insects as food. These squirrels, like all squirrels use their forefeet to manipulate food items when feeding. Being very untidy eaters they scatter their seeds next to the trees in which they feed or grass tufts, thereby facilitating the next tree or vegetation regeneration process.
We at African Wildlife and Nature Photographs have had many sightings of these squirrels and have written a blog post called Tree Squirrels of South Africa should you like to find out more about these inquisitive little small African mammals.
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