Round tailed ground squirrel


Hello all! My name is Round Tailed Ground Squirrel.  However some people refer to me as spermophilus tereticaudus.  I am a type of squirrel that lives in the Sonoran Desert.  Most people can easily identify me by my long tail which is almost half of my body length.  I am not to special considering the are a ton of us Round Tailed Ground Squirrels out there.  But here you are going to learn a little about my life and how I choose to live.  The location that you can normally find me is under a creosote bush, which is actually helpful to the plant to.  How so you may ask?? Well, the holes I create that allows rainwater to get to the plant!  


My name kind of gives way were I live. I am called ground squirrels because we tend to live in loose soil, sandy habitat, mainly under mesquite trees and creosote bushes. We love to live the Sonoran desert life. We can be found being active during the spring and summer months. I favorite time of the year is the rainy monsoon months. During the winter my siblings and I go into hiding underground and hibernate.  So in other words I am extremely active during the hot months of the year and inactive during the cold months.  


My favorite foods to eat would be seeds, plants, and insects. Because I live in the desert and water is so rare to come across my diet mostly consit of things that contain a lot of water. On average most of my diet contains about 80% water. Just like most other squirrels I have cheeks that stick out so I can store food that I find for later. Some of the predators that try and eat me and my family would be coyotes, bobcats, hawks, and snakes.  I love Sonoran desert and have always lived here and am use to the dry weather so I don't really require a whole lot of water if any at all. 


Surprisingly I am actually quite small. I like to brag about my body weight only be on average about 4.4 ounces or 125 grams. As far as height goes I usually range from about 204 to 278 millimeters including my 60 to 112 millimeters long round tail. All of my relatives and I like to look the same so we all have sandy color fur with no other markings. And the last way to identify me is by my hairy hind feet.  It saddens me that I am often mistaken for gophers or prairie dog.  I am definitely not a gopher because they never come to the surface and I am way to active to never go to the surface! And the prairie dog is just to big to be related to me.  If you really wanted to compare me to a prairie dog I am a miniature size of it.   


When it comes to being able to have babies on average we are sexually mature at the age of 325 days. We start the mating process usually around late February and March.  Once we have met our mate another 27-35 days and we have babies (This tends to be mid March to April)!  When I have kids I tend to have about five each time I have a litter. My kind has one litter per year.  If for whatever reason we have unusual amount of rain during winter months we tend to have a larger litter size then normal.  My babies tend to be 0,0088 pounds in size when they are born.  For reproducing we create nests which we tend to build around burrows.  


Do you know what I am called when I am younger or what a group of us is called? It is actually quite interesting. When I was younger and a baby people referred to me as a pup, kit, or kitten. Now that I am older and hang out in a group we are referred to as dray or scurry.


Students are going to go on a scavenger hunt to create an environment in a shoe box idea for a Round Tailed Ground Squirrel based on the information they recently learned. 

Things that they can included in the shoe box:

Pictures of things they might eat or live in 

Samples of environments they may live in 

Pieces of items that may be found around the Arizona Striped Whiptail

Students will then present to the class their shoe box and talked about why they choice they items they did for the environment 

This can be done individually or in groups