Some of you may be visiting our blog for the first time, just to find out what all these tails all over our school are all about. Or maybe you are visiting because of a recent slide show on our scrolling announcements?
If so let us please explain. If not carry on into the typical grand craziness that we so adore….
Over the last few weeks we have been reading The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John. The Terrible Two is a great story about an unlikely duo who become the prank kings of their middle school.
We here at SMS Guys Read decided to embark on a mild, secretive, signage campaign warning our fellow middle school students about the dangers of our North Carolina state mammal.
Now we would like to end our mild amusement with our SMS Guys Read Top Ten facts about The Eastern Gray Squirrel…
- The Eastern Gray Squirrel’s scientific name is Sciurus carolinensis, which literally means Shadow Tail of the Carolinas. We think Shadow Tail is a much cooler name then Squirrel. Why don’t you start calling all squirrels shadow tails?
- The tail length of the Eastern Gray Squirrel ranges in length from 150-250 millimeters. That means our social studies teacher is about eight and half squirrel tails tall. How many squirrel tails tall are you?
- Eastern Gray Squirrels are rodents, which means they are in the same family as the Easter Bunny!
- The Eastern Gray Squirrel has a black phase, where its fur is nearly all black. This means the Eastern Gray Squirrel has a teenage rebellion/goth phase just like you.
- Eastern Gray Squirrels sometimes eat each other, which is both wicked and gross.
- Grey squirrels are mainly herbivorous, eating acorns and hazel nuts, berries, fungi and even bark, buds and shoots. However, on rare occasions when plant food is very scarce they will eat insects, smaller rodents, bird eggs and nestlings. Which means Eastern Gray Squirrels eat pretty much the same thing as middle school boys, save the fungi.
- Grey squirrels build a large, untidy looking nest, or drey, in the treetops or hollow tree trunks. The drey is usually lined with moss, thistledown, dried grass, and feathers. Which is almost exactly like a middle school boy’s bedroom!
- Squirrels collect nuts and seeds in the autumn and bury them in many scattered hiding places or “caches” around the wood. They have a highly-developed spatial memory and acute sense of smell, which together aid them in finding the caches even weeks or months later. So the Eastern Gray Squirrel just may be smarter than the average sixth grader. I mean do you know where your pencil is? Do you remember your locker combination? Do you?
- The Eastern Gray Squirrel is the state mammal of North Carolina. Honest to goodness they voted the squirrel the state mammal in 1969!
- The Eastern Gray Squirrel makes a variety of noises including a loud screeching, a “buck, buck, buck,” sound and a chattering often found by “kyukyukyuuuu!” So Eastern Gray Squirrels sound just like middle school hallways.
We truly hope you have enjoyed learning about the state mammal of North Carolina. If you would like another good read, we recommend The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John, there you will learn more than you ever wanted to know about domesticated bovines!