Small Animals

Why do you never see a baby squirrel?


You're probably familiar with lots of young, baby animals puppies, kittens, ducklings, bunnies, and even small birds and little tadpoles! But why is it that you never see young, baby squirrels??

The reason all squirrels look like they're about the same size is that younger, smaller squirrels don't leave the nest until they are bigger, so most people never see one. When a squirrel is born, it's almost unrecognizable as a squirrel it's completely furless and very tiny. In fact, newborn squirrels only weigh a couple of ounces each. (That's about as much as a few postcards.) Baby squirrels are also mostly blind and have sealed ears; without eyesight or hearing, it would be very dangerous for a baby squirrel to leave the nest, so they stay in the nest and with their mother for the first number of weeks. Although they're so small and fragile when they're born, squirrels do grow quickly, and after just two or three months, it leaves the nest for the first time!


Growing Up

There are other animals who, like squirrels, don't leave the nest or the company of the mother until they are older because they are very small when they're born and they need some time and help as they grow bigger and stronger! What are some examples you can think of? One neat example is the kangaroo, which lives in its mother's special pouch after being born in order to stay safe and grow bigger! The baby kangaroo, also called a "joey," is only about the size of a bean when it's born! Are there any other baby animals you know about who stay close to home until they're older? Which ones? Why do you think this is helpful to them??