The playfulness and amazing agility of these streamlined mammals endear them to humans, but their voracious appetite makes these graceful, powerful swimmers a serious predator for crayfish and other small aquatic organisms.
Flying squirrels don’t actually fly, but they are expert hang gliders. Instead of running around on the ground, they climb to the top of a tall tree, launch into the air, glide downward to the bottom of another tree and repeat the process to get where they’re going.
Eastern Gray (Sciurus carolinensis) Fox (Sciurus niger)
Among the members of the squirrel family living in Missouri, the eastern gray and fox squirrels are the most common. Their common names are descriptive of the general coat color-the grayish of one, and the "reddish fox" coloration of the other.
Larger and yellower than the eastern cottontail, the swamp rabbit is confined to swamps of Missouri’s Bootheel. As a wetland dweller, it’s a good swimmer and diver, but lack of swamp habitat is making this rabbit’s numbers decline.
This brownish ground squirrel has 13 alternating brown and whitish lines (sometimes partially broken into spots) running along its back and sides, creating rows of whitish spots within dark lines. It stands upright to survey its surroundings, diving down into its burrow when it senses danger.
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