Malabar Giant Squirrel: I Want Some!

Kaushik Vijayan/

Health Editor’s Note: Squirrels three feet long?  Now that we have perfected the anti-squirrel bird feeder here at Duff Pond, bring them on! 🙂 Instead of looking out the window and seeing squirrels hanging/eating upside from bird feeders filled with black oil sunflower seeds, they are relegated to eating those seeds that the birds drop. I do put some seeds intentionally on the ground for the squirrels and the chipmunks and of course the birds that feed on the ground.  We do have tons of oak trees and I believe this was a banner year for acorns.  The ground squirrels climb into the balsam trees and consume the multitude of small pine cones.  We now live in the world of the gray, black, what appears to be a mixture of both, and only an occasional fox squirrel.  Too bad we do not live where we would also have these Malabar giant squirrels. … Carol

Yes, Giant Technicolor Squirrels Actually Roam the Forests of Southern India

by Meilan Solly,

The multi-hued, three-foot-long squirrels currently taking the internet by storm are no Photoshopped mythical creatures.

As Jason Bittel reports for National Geographic, the colorful four-pound critters—enjoying a renewed burst of attention thanks to a series of snapshots posted on Instagram by amateur photographer Kaushik Vijayan—not only roam the forests of southern India but also, in the words of wildlife conservation biologist John Koprowski, look “exactly” like the majestic orange-, purple- and maroon-colored animals seen on Vijayan’s feed. (Give or take a few filters, that is: Evolutionary biologist Dana Krempels points out that the photographer may have enhanced the squirrels’ natural coloring by applying a “vibrance” setting.)

Officially known as Ratufa Indica, or the Malabar giant squirrel, the species is one of four relatively hefty rodents in the squirrel family.



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    • Edward, From what I have seen, the gray squirrels are way more aggressive than the red (fox) squirrels I am most used to. The black ones are smaller and very athletic, leaping way more than the four feet they are only supposed to be able to reach. There would be such a size disparity with the Malabar giant, I am thinking that the gray might just ignore the mammoth. Better part of valor and all that. The various species/subspecies that are in our patch, all get along. 🙂 The worst thing they have to deal with is the 75 pound red and white, and quite fast, rescue pitty that takes a run in their general direction from time to time.

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