South African Ground Squirrel (Xerus inauris)

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South African Ground Squirrel Erdhörnchen Xerus inauris

Scientific Name: Xerus inauris
Common Name: South African Ground Squirrel, Erdhörnchen, Erdmännchen, L'Ecureuils fouisseur, Scoiattolo, Waaierstert.
Description: The hair on the body, head and limbs is short and bristly There are four digits on the forefeet and five on the hind, all with long, sharp claws for digging. Coloured various shades of brown; white on the lower limbs, under parts and sides of the neck. A white stripe runs along the flanks, outlined with darker cinnamon; alternating dark and light stripes run along the bushy tail. Each hair on the tail has two black bands while the mountain ground squirrel has three bands. The eyes are large and ringed with white, the ears are very small. 
Difference in Sex: Females have two pairs of nipples on the belly and are smaller than male.
Average Weight of Adult: Average total length males 47cm and weight 1022g: females 45cm, tail 21cm and weight 795g
Habitat: S Angola, Namibia, Botswana, W Zimbabwe, South Africa
Habits: Active during the day, it emerges from the burrow about an hour after sunrise in summer and half an hour later in winter. It is less active in windy and wet weather, and stays underground during sand storms. Sunbathes in cold weather, in hot weather lies flat in the shade and flicks sand onto its back. 
Main feeding time: Diurnal
Gestation: 6 to 7 weeks.
Number of young at birth: 1 to 3 young are born through out the year.
Age: about 15 years
Diet: Leaves, grass, stems, bulbs, seeds, roots, and sometimes insects
Enemies: Eagles, leopard,lion, hyaena, jackals
Interesting facts:
Credits: Christian Fourie (photograph + info)