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  Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Slender Squirrel
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2


Fig 3


Fig 4


Fig 5


Fig 6




 

Order : RODENTIA
Family : Sciuridae
Species : Sundasciurus tenuis

Head-Body Length : 13-16 cm
Tail Length : 12-13 cm
Weight : 120-140 grams

Play call

The Slender Squirrel is a small species which occurs in primary and tall secondary forests. The nest is made of short twigs and stems, and this has been observed as low as a metre above the ground in the crooks of trees.

The upperparts are brown and the underparts appear variable - either greyish or brownish, with buff to whitish tips to the fur. There is a pale orange-brown area around the eye, and often an orange-brown ear lobe. The ears are small. and the tail long and slender. It feeds on soft tree bark, fruits, insects and small vertebrates such as geckos (see Fig. 4)..

The species ranges from Peninsular Malaysia to Borneo and Sumatra. In Singapore it occurs in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Central Catchment Forests, with a small, isolated population in the Botanic Gardens.


Figs 1 and 2 : Adult and infant, from Singapore's central forests. The manner in which adults carry infants has been observed in a number of squirrel species.

Fig 3 : A handsome specimen from Singapore's central forests, with a long, intact, slender tail.

Fig 4 : Specimen from Singapore consuming a gecko, tail first.

Fig 5 : The fur on the underside of this adult appears brownish, tipped with buff to cream.

Fig 6 : The fur on the underside of this specimen (possibly sub-adult) is tipped with white. It is possible, but not confirmed, that this specimen might be Low's Squirrel Sundasciurus lowii.

All photos from Singapore.



References : M2