These Multi-Colored Giant Squirrels Are So Beautiful, It’s Hard To Believe They’re Real

The Indian giant squirrel, or Malabar giant squirrel, (Ratufa indica) is a large tree squirrel species in the genus Ratufa native to India. It is a large-bodied diurnal, arboreal, and mainly herbivorous squirrel found in South Asia. R. indica has a conspicuous two-toned (and sometimes three-toned) color scheme.

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The Indian giant squirrel is an upper-canopy dwelling species, which rarely leaves the trees, and requires “tall profusely branched trees for the construction of nests.” It travels from tree to tree with jumps of up to 6 m (20 ft).

   

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They are typically solitary animals that only come together for breeding. The species is believed to play a substantial role in shaping the ecosystem of its habitat by engaging in seed dispersal.

   

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The rust and buff Ratufa indica centralis (Ryley, 1913) of the tropical dry deciduous forests of Central India, near Hoshangabad.[5] The buff and tan Ratufa indica dealbata (Figure 1, top) of the tropical moist deciduous forests of the Surat Dangs.

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It is also seen (dark brown) on Tirumala hills at Tirupati and in the Nagarhole National Park and Bandipur National Park that run alongside the Kabini River.

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These nests become conspicuous in deciduous forests during the dry season. An individual may build several nests in a small area of forest which are used as sleeping quarters, with one being used as a nursery.

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