Journal of Mammalogy
For squirrels, physical size varies with ancestry, locomotion, and sex. Body length has little variation associated with subfamilies or tribes but varies significantly among genera within tribes. Thus, patterns in body size among genera represent more recent evolutionary pressures. Flying squirrels weigh less than similarly sized tree or ground squirrels but ecological profile and ancestry are confounded for flying squirrels. Tail length has clear relationships with ecological profile in squirrels. Tail length is shorter in ground squirrels, longer in tree squirrels, and longest in flying squirrels. In addition, in arboreal squirrels, females have longer tails, relative to body length, than those of males. This latter result suggests that reproductive constraints can influence external features of morphology.
Allometry, Body size, Flying squirrels, Gliding locomotion, Ground squirrels, Tail length, Tree squirrels
© 2008 American Society of Mammalogists
Hayssen, Virginia, "Patterns of Body and Tail Length and Body Mass in Sciuridae" (2008). Biological Sciences: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.