| Like the scientists who study them, Tropical Ground Squirrels are omnivorous. In captivity, they have willingly eaten corn, lettuce, meat, tortillas, and bread. In the wild, they probably rely more heavily on seeds and fruit. They forage in small groups of 2 to 4, and can be active aboveground at any time of the day. They sit up on their haunches to eat, and use the thumbs of their front feet to push seeds or pieces of fruit into their internal cheek pouches. They store food in the burrow, and eat it there in the mid-day heat. Squirrels that are fed learn to show up at the doors of houses to beg. Those less accustomed to people scurry to the burrow or hide among rocks at the first sign of a human or other danger. In the hottest days of summer, if food is scarce, they may estivate.
Tropical Ground Squirrels have no spots, stripes, or other markings except for the stripes over and under their eyes. They have long tails and relatively coarse fur. They often locate their burrows in rocky canyons, but burrows have also been found in open fields. Sometimes the entrance tunnel is almost horizontal and sometimes it is nearly vertical. Inside, a grass-lined chamber serves as a nest. These ground squirrels may reproduce year-round; their reproductive habits are not known.
Total Length: 244-366 mm; Walker: Head and Body: 130-406 mm; Tail: 112-163 mm; Walker: Tail: 38-254 mm
Merriam, C.H., 1903. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 16: 79,.
Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).
Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account (opens in a new window).