These Antelope Ground Squirrels at the Houston Zoo were just adorable. Never heard of them before, let alone seen any. They were in a building that had birds in it, of course, and they caught my attention. They landscape their displays and enclosures at the Houston Zoo very well. The squirrels had plenty of room to roam around in and they seemed quite content. Could it be because they didn’t need to worry about predators
According to this sign, Antelope Ground Squirrel is found in Arizona and New Mexico and use a variety of vocalizations to tell each other which type of predator is approaching. Isn’t their Creator amazing to give them this ability? Let’s go see what else we can find out about these cute little critters:
Sorry, that was a small joke, but he did scratch just as I took his/her picture. :)
They had lots of room to roam.
“Antelope squirrels or antelope ground squirrels of the genus Ammospermophilus are sciurids found in the desert and dry scrub areas of south-western United States and northern Mexico. They are a type of ground squirrel and are able to resist hyperthermia and can survive body temperatures over 40 °C (104 °F).
There are currently four recognised species in the world, with one subspecies:
- Harris’s antelope squirrel, A. harrisii, found in Arizona, New Mexico, and Sonora in Mexico.
- The San Joaquin antelope squirrel or Nelson’s antelope squirrel, A. nelsoni, found in the San Joaquin Valley, California.
- Texas antelope squirrel, A. interpres, found in Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico.
- The white-tailed antelope squirrel, A. leucurus, found in the southwestern United States and the Baja California peninsula.
- The subspecies of the Espíritu Santo antelope squirrel, A. insularis, found on Isla Espíritu Santo.
All are somewhat similar in appearance and behavior. They are around 14–17 centimetres (5.5–6.7 in) long with a 6–10 centimetres (2.4–3.9 in) tail, and weigh 110–150 grams (3.9–5.3 oz). The tail is somewhat flattened. They have a single white stripe on both flanks and none on the face. They live in burrows, which they dig for themselves. They are diurnal, and do not hibernate (though they become less active during the winter), so they are fairly easily seen.” (Wikipedia)
This one looks like a youngster, so they are following the Lord’s command to fill the earth:
Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. (Genesis 8:17 KJV)
“Antelope squirrels are commonly found in dry, shrubby areas of the southern United States into Mexico. These areas are sandy with rocky areas that provide soil that can be burrowed into for shelter and to escape the heat of the day. The temperatures in these regions can exceed 37.8 °C (100.0 °F) during the day and require special adaptations by the ground squirrels to survive. During the night, temperatures in these desert and dry areas may dip below freezing which again requires adaptations to survive. There is very limited free-standing water supply. These regions often suffer from long bouts of drought.” (Wikipedia) Could it just be that again their Creator created them for this big swing in temperature?
Here are all the photos taken of this adorable cute little critters:
I know these aren’t birds, but I am sure there are some birds out there that know all about them.