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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

White-Tailed Antelope Squirrel: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

White-Tailed Antelope Squirrel Fact File

There are five recognized species of antelope squirrels. The white-tailed antelope squirrel (Ammospermophilus leucurus) is a member of the same family. They belong to the genus Ammospermophilus. White-tailed antelope squirrels (Ammospermophilus leucurus) are endemic to the range of southwestern United States, northwestern Mexico, and southern Nevada. They prefer living in arid habitats and in desert regions.

A white-tailed antelope squirrel is primarily an omnivore and feeds on mainly lizards, rodents, and plant matter primarily on foliage, including seeds. White-tailed antelope squirrels are ground squirrels, meaning they live under the ground and hence are seldom seen out in the open. They have a brown to a gray range of fur and have two stripes white in color on their back. The white-tailed antelope squirrel is sedentary and is mostly a solitary being, meaning they are seldom seen alone. Males and females are more or less similar in appearance and come together only during the breeding season. Their litter size is five to 14 pups per year.

For more relatable content, check out these fact files on the fox squirrel and the red squirrel.

White-Tailed Antelope Squirrel Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a white-tailed antelope squirrel?

Ammospermophilus leucurus (white-tailed antelope squirrels) is a type of ground squirrel that belong to the kingdom Animalia and genus Ammospermophilus.

What class of animal does a white-tailed antelope squirrel belong to?

The white-tailed antelope squirrel belongs to the class Mammalia, family Sciuridae and genus Ammospermophilus.  

How many white-tailed antelope squirrels are there in the world?

The white-tailed antelope squirrel's exact population size and range is not known. They are classified as a Least Concern species by the IUCN Red List. Their activity patterns are similar to other ground squirrels. They forage during the cooler times of the day. Their diurnal activity is mostly impacted by their predatory patterns.

Where does a white-tailed antelope squirrel live?

They live in underground burrows located in arid regions and deserts. They are endemic to the range of the United States and northwestern Mexico. Their population extends south to north from New Mexico to southwestern Oregon, the Great Basin, and southern Nevada. They are also seen in the range of west to east in Mexico to Baja California. Owing to the fact that this species is primarily ground squirrels, they are rarely seen out in the open unless they are foraging for food.

What is a white-tailed antelope squirrel's habitat?

A squirrel white-tailed antelope lives underground in the desert or similar range. White-tailed antelope Colorado squirrels reside in desert habitats from valley floors to the juniper belt. They live in shrubby areas or rocky soil. These ground squirrels are active during the cooler times of the day. They are known to take ample breaks in between searching for food such as rodents.

Who do white-tailed antelope squirrels live with?

An antelope squirrel white-tailed is a solitary animal and only comes together with other animals of its own kind during mating season. Females are known to live with their young in burrows. They coexist with other wild species.  

How long does a white-tailed antelope squirrel live?

They are known to live up to approximately four years on average. White-tailed antelope ground squirrels have a maximum lifespan of six years.  The oldest squirrel was a grey squirrel which was recorded to have lived for 23 years and resided at Wisconsin's Racine Zoo.  

How do they reproduce?

The antelope ground squirrel animal's reproductive cycle and breeding season is from February to June. This ground squirrel becomes sexually mature at one year of age. Their reproductive cycle begins after one year. Males and females mate via sexual reproduction. After successfully mating, there is a gestation period of 30-35 days and the female gives birth to a litter size of five to 14 every year. Their litter size is five to 14 pups on average. In some instances, they produce one litter per year as well. Females create a nest for the young underground in their burrow. The juveniles are born blind at birth and are hairless. They start to emerge out of their burrows after one to two weeks, and leave definitely at two months old on average.    

What is their conservation status?

A squirrel white-tailed antelope is classified as a Least Concern species by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature IUCN Red List of Threatened species.

White-Tailed Antelope Squirrel Fun Facts

What do white-tailed antelope squirrels look like?

A white-tailed antelope squirrel is a ground squirrel that resides in burrows. They have an overall brown and gray fur coat with two white stripes that run along their back. They have a black stripe on their tail. They have black-colored eyes and whiskers on their body. Their have a white eye-ring around their eye. The underparts of their body are light in color. The white-tailed antelope squirrel color is light. They have small-sized feet and legs which help them move from one place to another. An antelope squirrel white-tailed has sharp claws on its hands and feet which is part of its body. The claws on their hands are used to get a grip on their food they consume.

The antelope squirrel white-tailed is a ground squirrel that has an overall brown to gray fur coat with two white stripes along its back.

How cute are they?

Antelope ground squirrels are cute and adorable, similar to various other ground squirrels and tree squirrels. A white-tailed antelope squirrel can be spotted burrowing in the ground to build a home for itself. Ground squirrels, in general, are seldom seen out in the open owing to the fact that their population mostly resides in burrows i.e., their habitat.

How do they communicate?

Their population communicates primarily using tactile and chemicals via pheromones. They are largely solitary beings and seldom seen with other species of their own kind. Males and females communicate during mating season, and females communicate with their offspring.

How big is a white-tailed antelope squirrel?

Antelope ground squirrels are 7.4-9.4 in (188-238.8 mm) on average in length, which is two times bigger than the Indian palm squirrel, which is 6-7 in (152.4-177.8 mm) on average.

How fast can a white-tailed antelope squirrel run?

The average white-tailed antelope ground squirrel running speed is relatively quicker because they have slightly longer feet than other antelope ground squirrels. These ground squirrels are quick to detect any sign of predators and seek shelter in their burrows in their home range.

How much does a white-tailed antelope squirrel weigh?

A white-tailed antelope squirrel weighs 3-5.5 oz (85-156 g). These squirrels are active when it is cooler. They avoid extreme heat and feed primarily on vertebrates, mainly lizards, as well as plant matter, primarily on foliage.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male ground squirrels species are called bucks, and females are called a does. Male and females are similar in appearance, however, they differ in reproductive functions. Males tend to be more dominant during the reproductive season. Their reproductive ability peaks in September.

What would you call a baby white-tailed antelope squirrel?

A baby white-tailed antelope squirrel is called a pup, kitten, or kit. They are born blind at birth and hairless. They are dependant on their parents for food and shelter and live independently once they have grown up a little and can take care of themselves. The females keep the young in cooler parts, normally underground. It takes pups one year to become sexually mature.

What do they eat?

An antelope ground squirrel or ground squirrel's diet is omnivorous, not herbivorous. A white-tailed antelope squirrel feeds on vertebrates, mainly lizards and rodents including mice and rats. When they spot food like seeds or any other kind, they usually store it in their cheek pouches and carry it back to their burrow to sit peacefully and eat. Their diet also consists of seeds, berries, and nuts. They don't travel too far away from their home range. Their home range primarily constitutes their burrows. Their food habits and diet vary depending on the climatic conditions. White-tailed antelope predators include snakes, canids, and raptors which can impact their population.

Are they dangerous?

No, they are not innately dangerous however, it is best to observe them from a distance if you come across them since they are wild ground squirrels and may bite or try to cause harm if touched. They tend to reside in cooler parts, such as in burrows or underground.

Would they make a good pet?

No, it is not ideal to own them as pets. They thrive best in their natural habitat and home range. This species has varied activity patterns and are mostly seen engaging in diurnal activities. The amount of white-tailed antelope squirrel damage caused will be major if they are domesticated. There are certain legal squirrel breeds that can be adopted as pets, but this is rare too.

Did you know...

Squirrels are skilful hunters and can find food that is hid under snow. They do so by digging tunnels and using the scent of the food to guide their movements. During winters, squirrels are known to gain extra weight in order to keep themselves warm during extreme climates.

A squirrel's diet constitutes seeds and nuts, and squirrels that feed on nuts often forget about some nuts they have stored overtime. This seed or nut then grows into trees, preserving the environment. Squirrels are effective seed dispersers.

Are white-tailed antelope squirrels endangered?

No, this species is not endangered. The white-tailed antelope is classified as a Least Concern species by the IUCN Red List as its population is stable. They require one year to become mature before they are ready to reproduce. They are seldom seen out in the open since they are ground squirrels.

How did the white-tailed antelope squirrel get its name?

Antelope squirrels are ground squirrels that live in arid habitats in a burrow usually. This species is considered to be similar to rodents who live underground. They belong to the genus Ammospermophilus. They stay in their burrow for the most part and come out only during certain times of the day. They have white lines on their back and a black stripe on their tail. This is their unique identifying feature if you spot one who stays out for longer durations, its likely that you have spotted a tree squirrel rather than a ground squirrel.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these nutria rat facts and pocket gopher facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our squirrel coloring pages.

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