When you look at the photo it’s really hard to believe that this vibrant and colorful Indian giant squirrel exists. But we can assure you that it does exist and is very colorful, none you have ever seen before.
The Indian giant squirrel (Ratufa indica), also known as the Malabar giant squirrel, is a squirrel with vibrant splotches of black, cream, and burnt fuchsia. Giant squirrel is known for its vivid coat and it looks too big to be a squirrel!
There are four subspecies of Indian or the Malabar Giant Squirrel native to India which spread across the central and southern states.
This species is mainly found in India, with main sections of its distribution in the Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats, and Satpura Range as far north as Madhya Pradesh.
The color of the Indian giant squirrel is very unique. It can be black, brown, and orange, as well as maroon and purple. Their coloration depends on the area in which they are found.
The body of the squirrel varies from deep red to brown with white patches on the belly as well as dirty white or cream colored under-parts and forelimbs. The animal has pink lips. The eyes are colored in the bright dark or light brown. The powerful and long tail is light brown with a creamy white tip.
These Indian Giant squirrels are omnivores they feed on fruits, nuts, jackfruit, tree bark, and even bird eggs and insects.
They build their nests high up in the trees around 20-30 meters high. A pair of squirrels can build up to 5 nests. They can easily leap up to 6 meters between trees.
Instead of storing nuts and seeds underground. The squirrels create food stores in treetops high above the forest floor.
These squirrels are shy and are most active during the day. They are generally solitary animals but are in pairs when mating season arrives.
The colorful creatures can measure up to 3 feet(36 inches) long from head to tail and can weigh up to 3 kgs. Their better-known grey, red and black relatives are roughly half this size.
Even the most commonly sighted Three-striped palm squirrel (Head to tail 12 inches approx) is three times smaller in size as compared to Giant squirrels.