Prevost's squirrel, also known as the Tri-colored squirrel, is one of the most colorful of all squirrels. The back and tail are glossy black, the belly and legs a bright chestnut red. A white band extends along their sides from the nose to the base of the tail.
All squirrels have sharp eyesight. Their teeth consist of a single pair of chisel-shaped incisor teeth in each jaw and a large gap in front of the premolars, due to the absence of canine teeth. The incisors grow continuously and are worn back by use. The lower jaw is quite movable.
Squirrels have short forelimbs, with a small thumb, and longer hind limbs. The soles of the feet have soft pads.
Prevost's squirrel is from south-east Asia. They live and make their nests (dreys) in trees.
There are 25 Malayan species of squirrels. Many of these species are nocturnal while the rest are active in the daytime. Some are terrestrial while others are arboreal. Because of these differences, different species of squirrels often occupy the same habitat.
Prevost's squirrels are tree squirrels and are therefore excellent at climbing and jumping. Their toes, with their sharp claws, are well adapted for clinging to tree trunks. They are able to jump across considerable gaps between trees.
The tail serves as a balance when the squirrel runs and climbs and as a rudder when it jumps. The tail is also used as a flag to communicate social signals and is wrapped around the squirrel when the animal sleeps.
On the ground tree squirrels move in a sequence of graceful leaps, often pausing to raise their heads and look around.
When feeding, squirrels squat on their haunches holding the food between their front paws. Unlike ground squirrels, tree squirrels do not hibernate.
Squirrels feed on nuts and seeds, fruits and other plant material, supplemented with a few insects. They have also been known to feed on reptiles and young birds. In the Zoo Prevost's squirrels are fed monkey chow, fruit, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.
REPRODUCTION and GROWTH:
Squirrels are sexually mature and able to breed when approximately one year old. Gestation lasts about five weeks. Infant squirrels are born naked, toothless and helpless with their eyes closed. By six weeks of age they are fully furred and sufficiently independent to be able to venture out of the burrow.
Scientific Name: Rodentia Sciuridae Callosciurus prevosti