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India’s Malabar giant squirrel (Ratufa indica)

Covered in dark browns, creams, oranges, maroons, blacks, and rich rusts, India’s Malabar giant squirrel (Ratufa indica) is more colorful than the gray squirrels of North America. And at 97 centimeters (38 inches) from its head to the end of its tail, Ratufa indica is larger, too. This video from Media Space shows the multi-colored animal in action, and captures its loud territorial calls. Narration subtitles are available. From Wikipedia:

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). When in danger, the Ratufa indica often freezes or flattens itself against the tree trunk, instead of fleeing. Its main predators are the birds of prey and the leopard. The Giant Squirrel is mostly active in the early hours of the morning and in the evening, resting in the midday. 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. Diet includes fruit, flowers, nuts and tree bark. Some subspecies are omnivorous, also eating insects and bird eggs.

Here’s another video of one exploring along a tree trunk:

Next: A squirrel takes a GoPro up into the tree branches and these frustrated squirrels go nuts. Plus, more videos in India.

h/t @AtlasObscura.

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