Whitehead's squirrel - a tiny cutie from the island of BorneoBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/whitehead39s-squirrel-a-tiny-cutie-from-the-island-of-borneo.html
Nature is a talented creator who creates real masterpieces. But sometimes she likes to joke. And in such cases, the most virtuoso Photoshop master cannot compare with her. Looking at the Whitehead's squirrel, living on the islands of the Malay Archipelago, it is difficult to believe that this animal exists. This is a tiny and very cute creature that looks like a squirrel all its life.
Whitehead's squirrel (Exilisciurus whiteheadi) is the smallest member of the squirrel family. The length of its body rarely exceeds 8.5 centimeters, and with its tail - 14 centimeters. The baby weighs only 20-25 grams, but is considered a real squirrel. The animal was named after the English naturalist John Whitehead (1860-1899), who first described it as a species.
The rodent has a brown coat with thick and very delicate fur and tufts of white hair on its ears. Since the squirrel lives in tropical forests, where summer always reigns, it does not change its coat for winter like its relatives from our latitudes. This baby, although she lives in warm latitudes, does not tolerate the heat well. Therefore, she chose the mountain forests of the island of Borneo at an altitude of 900 to 3000 meters.
Whitehead's squirrel prefers dipterocarp forests. They consist of deciduous trees of different species that share several characteristics. All of them grow in gigantic sizes, up to 80 meters, and have a crown of small leaves starting at a height of 30-40 meters above the ground. The baby squirrel spends almost its entire life in the crowns of these giants, without going down, where numerous dangers await it.
Most dipterocarp trees produce fruits in the form of nuts. It would be logical that Whitehead's squirrel feeds on them. But this animal is too small to cope with nuts, the size of which is comparable to the size of its body. The main diet of this squirrel is mosses and lichens covering tree branches.
Unlike its northern relatives, the Whitehead's squirrel does not store supplies, since it is not familiar with the winter lack of food. The baby's only concern is to hide from birds of prey, snakes and animals that, like her, live in the trees. The rodent cannot defend itself, so it prefers to quickly retreat at the slightest suspicion of danger. She moves so fast that it seems like she knows the secret of teleportation!
Disappointingly little is known about the life of Whitehead's squirrels. They live in inaccessible mountainous areas, and even on the tops of trees. Not every zoologist studying the nature of Borneo is lucky enough to encounter this animal. We don't even know the population size of these animals. It is likely that human activity is already affecting their numbers. Alas, dipterocarp forests are valuable wood for humans.