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赤腹松鼠 Red-Bellied Tree Squirrel (Chifu Songshu)

赤腹松鼠
 
赤腹松鼠為台灣最常見的松鼠,分布廣泛。腹部及四隻內側呈現赤紅色,尾毛澎鬆,呈黑棕色夾白毛,背部暗褐色。赤腹松鼠的眼睛大又圓,耳殼短圓型,因其尾毛澎大明顯,俗稱「膨鼠」。
清晨與黃昏為活動高峰,這段期間可見赤腹松鼠在樹林間跳躍,生性活潑好動。習慣把吃不完的食物埋在土裡儲存,但牠們常常忘記埋藏地點,而這些被埋在地下的種子,便有機會在隔年發芽,間接地幫助植物的散佈。在每年的春季,森林中赤腹松鼠喜愛的植物較為缺乏,此時,赤腹松鼠便會剝咬樹皮,將樹木的枝幹啃咬出一條條的痕跡。
 
Red-Bellied Tree Squirrels (Chifu Songshu) are the commonest squirrels in Taiwan. They have a red belly, red limbs (underneath), a fluffy dark-brown tail intermingled with white, and a dark-brown back. The eyes are big and round and the ears are short and round. Due to their fluffy tails, the squirrels are also called "Fluffy Mouse" (Pengchu).
They are usually active at dawn and dusk, and can be seen jumping and running within the woods. They have this habit of burying their "leftovers" underground, but they very often forget about it, and those underground seeds have the opportunity to sprout in the coming year, which indirectly help plants with their dissemination. In springtime when their favorite plants become insufficient to them, Red-Bellied Tree Squirrels will peel tree bark with their teeth, and nibble the trunks and branches and leave stripy marks on them.