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Old Jan 9, 2006, 5:34 PM   #1
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Saw this little fella sitting still as a knot hole while a hawk kept flying in and out of this big oak tree. Me trying to get in position for a pic of the hawk caused it to change plans.
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 10:07 AM   #2
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And do you know why they keep their tail like that?
I believe it is because if the hawk grabs it by the tail the tail will come off and they will survive. I don't believe they can "Drop" it or shed, but the tail is removeable with a bit of tugging and the squirl is no worse for the wear. They just grow another one.

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Old Jan 10, 2006, 12:36 PM   #3
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eric s wrote:
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And do you know why they keep their tail like that?
I believe it is because if the hawk grabs it by the tail the tail will come off and they will survive. I don't believe they can "Drop" it or shed, but the tail is removeable with a bit of tugging and the squirl is no worse for the wear. They just grow another one.

Eric
Err? No...:G

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Old Jan 10, 2006, 6:55 PM   #4
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eric!!!....have you been into the spiked eggnog again?:lol:



But seriously,over the years I have seen numerous squirrels with partial tails.....GOSH, I didn't know they were in the process of growing a new tail. :-):-):-)
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Old Jan 11, 2006, 12:12 PM   #5
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Absolute not.
I have had to catch squirls and chipmunks by hand before. If you grab them by the tail, it will come off. I'm sure its painful, and not exactly prety. But it does happen. And the animal will run away.

I have always assumed they grow the tails back (ok, that part is speculation.)

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Old Jan 11, 2006, 2:04 PM   #6
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eric s wrote:
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Absolute not.
I have had to catch squirls and chipmunks by hand before. If you grab them by the tail, it will come off. I'm sure its painful, and not exactly prety. But it does happen. And the animal will run away.

I have always assumed they grow the tails back (ok, that part is speculation.)

Eric
Oh my God! He's more or less right. Although I couldn't find any links to the tails growing back -

http://www.school-for-champions.com/...l_defenses.htm

Eric - I take back that thousand dollar bet.....

:?

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Old Jan 11, 2006, 4:28 PM   #7
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I'll take that 1,000 in good photo charma credits. There has gotta be some kinda of conversion rate out there.

The funny part of the story is that I once had to catch the chipmunk in the living room of a house!

During high school my girlfriend and I were watching Johnny Carson (i.e. 12pm? Fairly late) on a Friday night. Her mother and sister were happily asleep upstairs. Out of the corner of my eye I see movement. I think a mouse or something. I see it again and I realize it's a chipmunk! In the house, running under the baseboard heating!

The next hour involves everyone being woken up (by the chasing noise), wondering what the heck is going on, and then the 4 of us chasing the chipmunk around the room and it went from under one piece of furniture to another and we (I'm sure) looked like complete idiots. It was like a road-runner cartoon as we'd come up with some new trick to catch it, followed by us being soundly out-though/defeated by a chipmunk.

We eventually got it by dropping a towel on it as it was scared out from under the sofa (my idea!)

But during all that, I tried to grab it as it came out... and ended up with just the tail. It was rather disturbing, actually.

So it's a one-time defence? Clearly, by natural selection, nature would favor a squirrel that regrew the tail... but that just might be too hard. So evolution stopped at an easy middle ground. Detachable but not regrowable. Assuming you believe in all that evolution/natural selection stuff (lets not go there, shall we?)

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Old Jan 11, 2006, 6:43 PM   #8
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LOL...the dig was at them growing a new tail.I fully agreewith you aboutthe tail coming off (at least part of it)with a hard yank.

Ihave myself seen them lose part of a tail......supposedly the cartilage will dry up and fall off of the wounded part. I just never did any follow up to see what happens later.:-)



Makes me wonder how some of the other animals such as cats and dogs wind up with a shorter tail than it was previously (I know how SOME of that happens)

For example there is a neighbor's dog that roams around here and I noticed a few days ago that it's tail seemed to be quite a bit shorter? All I know is.... I didn't do it.



Back to the original question. I actually thought the tail curled over the back was to break up their outline from flying death. I may have to do a study.:?
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Old Jan 11, 2006, 7:53 PM   #9
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LOL...the dig was at them growing a new tail. I fully agree with you about the tail coming off (at least part of it) with a hard yank.

I have myself seen them lose part of a tail......supposedly the cartilage will dry up and fall off of the wounded part. I just never did any follow up to see what happens later.:-)



Makes me wonder how some of the other animals such as cats and dogs wind up with a shorter tail than it was previously (I know how SOME of that happens)

For example there is a neighbor's dog that roams around here and I noticed a few days ago that it's tail seemed to be quite a bit shorter? All I know is.... I didn't do it.



Back to the original question. I actually thought the tail curled over the back was to break up their outline from flying death. I may have to do a study.:?
Oh my God, He's right about the tail growing back as well!

http://www.school-for-champions.com/...rel%20Defenses

Eric, I am shocked, shocked. I will NEVER contemplate betting with you again!
:?:?:

Hmm? Let me ask, if I edit my posts and remove the "doubting Thomas" words will you make believe I never said them?
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Old Jan 12, 2006, 12:33 AM   #10
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I bet its some of both. They could break up their profile in other ways, but using the tail that way also saved them from attacks from above. Having it there before the attack saves them time during it.

I wonder what they do when they run from the hawk... or do they? when they run around normally the tail is out (not up)... but where is it when trying not to be caught?

I don't know.

Eric
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