(Smith's bush squirrel) is found in Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa including Southern Angola, Northern Namibia, Southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Western Tanzania, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Northern South Africa.
There are many subspecies recognized by geographic region. Paraxerus c. cepapi is found in South Africa, Southern Botswana, and Zimbabwe. Paraxerus c. bororensis and P. c. soccatus are found north of the Zambezi River. Paraxerus c. carpi lives near the junction of the Messenguezi and Zambezi rivers in Mozambique. Paraxerus c. chobiensis is found in Northern Namibia, Northern Botswana, and Southern Angola. Paraxerus c. phalaena is found in Central and Northwestern Namibia. Paraxerus c. quotus lives in Southeastern Katanga. Paraxerus c. yulei is found in Northeastern Zambia, Western Tanzania, and Northern Malawi. Paraxerus c. sindi is found in Southern Malawi and the Tete District in Mozambique. (Thorington, et al., 2012; Viljoen and Du Toit, 1985)
Smith's bush squirrels are found in areas that provide appropriate nesting holes. These are commonly savanna, mopane and acacia woodlands. Although these squirrels mostly live in trees, they will also nest in holes on the ground, between rocks, and in house roofs. (Thorington, et al., 2012)
Smith's bush squirrels are medium-sized African bush squirrels. The coat is yellow to brown in color but can vary by region. In general, the dorsal coat is a brownish yellow or gray color, while the ventral coat is a white or gray color with a buff coloration on the chest. The face has white stripes both above and below the eyes and cheeks that are a subtle brownish yellow color. Smith's bush squirrels have long, bushy tails with a black and yellow to brown coloration. Adults have an average body length measuring 238.5 mm and an average body mass of 222.85 g.
Subspecies of Paraxerus.c. yulei is a larger squirrel that has gray shoulders with tan gray sides, gray markings on the belly, and gray white feet. Paraxerus.c. soccatus can be distinguished by its gray white feet and lack of yellow highlights. Paraxerus.c. bororensis has a darker coloration than Paraxerus.c. cepapi with a gray coloration on the sides of the body and bottom of the hind limbs. Paraxerus.c. quotus is distinguished by its overall darker coloration. Paraxerus.c. carpi is approximately half the size of Paraxerus.c. cepapi and lighter in color. The underside of the tail in Paraxerus.c. sindi is ochraceous. Paraxerus.c. phalaena is distinguished by gray coloration on the back, head, shoulder, hips, and legs. The feet are also a paler white than the subspecies Paraxerus.c. cepapi. Paraxerus.c. chobiensis has a whiter coloration on its ventral side and toes than Paraxerus.c. cepapi. Paraxerus.c. cepapoides has a rusty coloration with tawny markings on the back and thighs. ("Encyclopedia of Life", 2005; Jones, et al., 2009; Thorington, et al., 2012)can be distinguished by coat colorations and markings.
Mating in (Thorington, et al., 2012)is initiated by the female and only occurs in the morning. The female will emit a rattle call. In response, the male will produce a low pitched nasal murmur and chase the female. During this chase, both the males and females will flick their tails and make clicking sounds. During copulation, the male will allogroom the female; after copulation, both sexes will auto groom.
Males and females care for their young. Sometimes males practice infanticide. Females carry their young in their mouth by grasping the hind legs. Once in place, the young hold on to the mother with their arms, legs, and tail. A mother will continue to move their young in this way up until 4 weeks of age, at which time the young resist. From birth to 6 months of age, the young (Mason, 2007; Thorington, et al., 2012)must follow the parents to eat solid foods. Neither parent will deliver solid food to the young in the nest. Once the young reach sexual maturity, they are forced to leave the group.
Little is known about the lifespan of (Weigl, 2005)in the wild; however, in captivity, one squirrel lived for 9.6 years.
Smith's bush squirrels mark areas .3 to 1.26 ha in size by mouth wiping, urinating, and anal dragging. (Thorington, et al., 2012)
Smith's bush squirrels are able to communicate using clicking and rattling vocalizations. If disturbed, they will grunt and growl. Their low intensity alarm call consists of three “chir” or “click” sounds. This is used as a warning or territorial defense. They also have a high intensity alarm call composed of six or seven high pitched notes; this is similar to a bird call or whistle. When threatened,is known to flick their tail and head bob.
To assert dominance, a dominantwill narrow its eyes at a submissive squirrel. In which case, the submissive squirrel will run away.
Smith's bush squirrels are mostly vegetarian, consuming many plants, seeds, berries, flowers, and some arthropods. Although opportunistic, they prefer seeds and gums of acacia, and seeds and flowers of aloes. They will also consume termites. In East Africa, the squirrels will also eat insects, bird eggs, and euphorbia leaves.
Smith's bush squirrels will store their food at the bases of trees. (Thorington, et al., 2012)
Predators of the (Thorington, et al., 2012)include snakes, raptors and carnivorous mammals.
There is little known about the benefitsprovide to humans.
There are no known adverse effects ofon humans.
is also known as yellow-footed squirrel.
Alexa Pronga (author), University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, Christopher Yahnke (editor), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Tanya Dewey (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.
uses sound to communicate
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
parental care is carried out by females
an animal that mainly eats leaves.
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
an animal that mainly eats fruit
an animal that mainly eats seeds
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
parental care is carried out by males
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
having more than one female as a mate at one time
communicates by producing scents from special gland(s) and placing them on a surface whether others can smell or taste them
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
associates with others of its species; forms social groups.
places a food item in a special place to be eaten later. Also called "hoarding"
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
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Viljoen, S., S. Du Toit. 1985.
Postnatal Development and Growth of Southern African Tree Squirrels in the Genera Funisciurus and Paraxerus. Journal of Mammology, 66: 119-127. Accessed April 27, 2016 at http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.uwsp.edu/stable/1380963?sid=primo&origin=crossref&seq=4#page_scan_tab_contents.
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