Physical Setting
Climate
Adaptations
Tucson Plants
Tucson Animals
External Resources
Physical Setting
Climate
Adaptations
Tucson Plants
Tucson Animals
External Resources
AnimalsVenomous AnimalsArthropodsFishAmphibiansReptilesBirdsMammals
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Harris' Antelope Squirrel (Ammospermophilus harrisii)
Harris' antelope squirrelDESCRIPTION: Wt=4-5 oz (113-150g); L about 8.5-10" (22-25cm), without 3-4" (74-94mm) tail that commonly is held over back. Overall tan to gray above, white below. They have a white stripe on both sides of their body but not through their face (as do Cliff Chipmunks -- Eutamias dorsalis -- that live at higher elevations). Tail is mixed black and white below, compared to just white below in other antelope squirrels.
NATURAL HISTORY: Omnivorous, feeding on fruits and seeds and the occasional insect and mouse. Diurnal and active year-round. Because it is adapted to tolerate hyperthermia, it often is the only small mammal seen during the hottest parts of the day in summer. They will scurry around collecting seeds and storing them in their cheek pouches until their body temperature climbs to near lethal, then they will duck into the shade, often spreading eagle in the cool soil, to cool their temperature back down enough to go back out in the sun again. In winter, they feed on stored food underground, but they do not hibernate.

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