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Caroline's Time Allocation - Introduction In almost any...

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Introduction In almost any place from Texas to the Atlantic coast, the Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) dwells in abundance. This tree-dwelling animal, characterized by its unique ability to climb and leap from branch to branch with ease, is easily found in South Carolina because of its moderate temperatures, which squirrels have been shown to prefer. (MacClintock 1970) Although the species was near extinction in the early twentieth century due to rapid development and expansion, populations have recovered to the point where squirrels are not just a common sight, but even considered an annoyance to farmers and property owners. (Webster 1985) Gray squirrels feed on hardwood nuts, insects, fungi, and fruit and usually live in hardwood trees. They are able to maintain such an arboreal lifestyle because of their especially strong claws that easily grab hold of the branches and trunks of trees. Squirrels also have the ability to turn their hind claws 180ø in order to make a rapid descent or ascent when climbing. (Halloran 1998) These small animals are known for being social and playful and are seen chasing other squirrels up trees and on the ground; however, this kind of activity is not seen as often as routine practices like eating or grooming. Often much of the squirrels' day consists of gathering food, eating, or resting in order to store energy necessary to survive cold nights.
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