First There Was an Albino Porcupine in NH; Now a Rare Black Squirrel Spotted in Massachusetts
Well a few weeks ago it was a rare albino porcupine spotted in Rochester, NH.
This time, it's a rare black squirrel spotted in Western Mass.
According to Wikipedia, "Black fur for squirrels are rare, and occurs at rates of less than one per cent. It has been suggested that one in 10,000 eastern gray squirrels are a black morph."
Mentalfloss.com says that the black color of their fur is a result of a genetic "detour." Apparently it's due to inbreeding between the fox squirrel and the grey squirrel:
"The black squirrel is actually a gray squirrel with a faulty pigment gene carried over from the fox squirrel that turns their fur a darker shade."
Whatever the reason for their fur color, this little guy is pretty darn cute. My friend Lynn spotted him while she was waiting in a bank parking lot in Greenfield, MA.
I was reading some fun facts from Toddmitchellbooks.com about squirrels that i found really interesting.
Did you know that squirrels can jump vertically five feet, and can leap between objects that are over ten feet apart? They're also really good swimmers, even though they don't love water.
I also learned that in Japan, they have actual squirrel gardens where you can pet them with oven mitts! Who knew?!
Squirrels are also tough little guys. According to a BBC report, a pack of squirrels killed a Rottweiller that was scaring them. I think i'll keep my distance, but this black squirrel was sure cute to look at!