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How far can a squirrel jump?Featured science projectScience project video

Abstract

We know that squirrels are able to hop and jump a great distance - but exactly how far can a squirrel really jump? Some say its more than 10 times the length of their bodies! This science fair project was conducted to answer this question. Our experiment involves making squirrels jump from one table to another and increasing the distance between the tables gradually, to ascertain the limits.

Hypothesis

Squirrels are able to jump a distance of at least 1 meter.

Scientific Terms

Rodent, Sciuridae, herbivore

Background

Squirrel

Squirrels are small-sized rodents that belong to a species of animals called Sciuridae. Other animals in this species include the tree squirrel, flying squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks and prairie dogs. The size of an average squirrel is about 40cm from nose to the tail tip. Their weight is about 500grams.

Squirrels have large eyes, a slender body and bushy tails. Their large eyes mean that they have very good vision. This is especially important for tree dwelling squirrels. Their bushy tail help them keep balance, cushion their falls and to communicate with other squirrels. Squirrels also have sturdy and versatile claws that helps them grasp branches and tree trunks as they climb.

The squirrel is a natural herbivore and lives mainly on nuts, fruit, mushrooms, seeds, vegetables and interesting, conifer cones (eg. pine cones). However, squirrels are also known to eat meat when they are starved. They eat bird eggs, small insects, small snakes and other small rodents.

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Complexity level:
7
Project cost ($):
30
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 1 day for the science project experiment
Material availability:
You will need 5 squirrels for this experiment
Safety concerns:

Ensure that you wear safety gloves when handling the squirrels, to avoid being injured.  Adult supervision required.