Talking about squirrels is a lot of mistakes. Thanks to the similarities with each other, because people who see these squirrels often call it wrong. Between species have a high resemblance. Maybe only one or two things to distinguish them. But is that enough to really distinguish them?
The squirrel species that people often mistake is Sciurus and Western Grey Squirrel. Indeed, both of them look very similar, even they are no different from other squirrels. The shape of the body, habits, face and tail are all the same. But both are clearly different.
The Western Grey Squirrel is an arboreal rodent found along the west coast of the United States and Mexico. They are tree squirrels. In some places, this species is also known as silver-grey squirrel, California grey squirrels, Oregon grey squirrels, Colombian grey squirrels and tail-banners. There are three geographical subspecies: Sciurus griseus griseus (central Washington to the western Sierra Nevada in central California); S. g. nigripes (from south of San Francisco Bay to San Luis Obispo, California); and S. g. anthonyi (which ranges from San Luis Obispo to Baja northern California). The Western Grey Squirrel was first described by George Ord in 1818 based on records taken by Lewis and Clark at The Dalles in Wasco County, Oregon.
Meanwhile, Sciurus is the genus name of the Squirrel. Sciurus contains most dense tailed squirrels in North America, Europe, Asia, Central and South America. The squirrels in this part of the genus have a broad and furry tail shape, as mentioned earlier. The squirrel species in this genus is the Brazilian squirrel and Abert’s squirrel which represent the first ‘old generation’ (1980) found in this genus. Then there is the Calabrian Black Squirrel representing the ‘young generation’ which has just been named in 2017.
To distinguish specifically between Sciurus and Western Grey Squirrel, here is the fastest way.
- By their colour
The easiest thing if you want to distinguish between Sciurus and Western Grey Squirrel is the colour of their feathers. As the name, Western Grey Squirrel certainly has grey fur. They have grey fur almost all over their bodies. Their stomachs are white while the tops of their bodies are usually black. These grey feathers also filled their faces and tails. Unlike the Western Grey Squirrel, Sciurus has a greater diversity of feather colours. As previously explained that Sciurus is the name of the squirrel genus, many squirrels are included in this genus and certainly have many colour variants. Sciurus is the most easily recognizable brown person. The colour variants in this genus are diverse, ranging from red, black, dark brown and light brown, and a combination of the two colours mentioned earlier.
- By their fur
The second step to distinguish Sciurus and Western Grey Squirrel is from their fur. Western Grey Squirrel feathers tend to be shorter in the body to their tails. Although the feathers on their tails are longer than those on their bodies, their feathers are still relatively short compared to another squirrel. Unlike the Western Grey Squirrel, Sciurus has an icon on their body. They are known as the genus of thick-tailed squirrels. That means it is clear that Sciurus has fur on their tail that is thicker than Western Grey Squirrel.
- By their tail
Apart from their colours and feathers, distinguishing Sciurus and Western Grey Squirrel can also be through the shape of their tails. Western Grey Squirrel has a curved tail shape that tends to form the letter ‘S’. Unlike the Western Grey Squirrel, the squirrels in the genus Sciurus have a tail shape that tends to be straight. The elongated shape of the tail is clearly visible even when they move like climbing tree.
Distinguishing two animal species that are still in their genus is difficult. Apart from the similarities they have, the kinship that is still intertwined in their blood is the main thing that actually makes them the same. But when different types of animals will be different behavior. Different behaviors also mean different treatments will be accepted. It’s not easy to distinguish them, but aren’t we basically fellow human is different?
Differences can be seen clearly if we observe carefully. It may not be found when just trying but the difference will be even more evident if we want to analyse it. The difference isn’t to be a threat or justification for individualist life, but to understand that there are many beautiful differences in this world. This difference will bring color to our lives. Maybe we can’t feel right away, but it will mean a lot to some people out there.
Squirrel are still squirrel that will behave like squirrel. It’s may be hard to distinguishing them by their behave. But are squirrels the same from one another? Certainly not. The explanation above has revealed how beautiful differences can be formed even in one genus family. Nothing can prevent change. Prevention comes naturally. There is no need to argue which are more and less, our job as human beings is to admire and treat those differences well so as not to cause damage to each other.