Squirrels live on every continent of the world except Antarctica and Australia. However, in recent years, squirrels have been introduced to Australia.
The smallest species of squirrel is the African pygmy squirrel. This species only grows to be about 5 inches long from nose to tail. The largest species of squirrel is the Indian giant squirrel, which can grow to be more than 3 feet long.
There are more than 200 species in the squirrel family. The earliest known squirrel species was called the Hesperapetes and existed during the Eocene period, but the word "squirrel" wasn't used until 1327 and loosely translates to "shadow-tailed."
Squirrels are mostly herbivorous animals and love eating nuts and seeds. However, when those become scarce, a squirrel will not hesitate to eat insects or small invertebrates. Squirrels have excellent vision and dexterous claws for grasping nuts and seeds and climbing trees.
Squirrels are primarily diurnal animals, preferring to hang around during the day. Flying squirrels however, are nocturnal.
Squirrels are persistent, stubborn animals and, as such, have developed a love-hate relationship with humans. They eat from bird feeders because of their excellent climbing skills and tenacity. which doesn't always please the humans who go to great lengths to feed birds in the area.