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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

This week, facts about...Squirrels


CURWOOD: This is the time of year when many animals emerge from their cozy winter nests. One of the most ubiquitous is the squirrel. Its name comes from the Greek word skiouros, meaning "little shadow tail." Now, the squirrel's adapted to just about every region in the world, and the bushy rodents have their fans. The Squirrel Lover's Club was launched about 3 years ago, and at least 600 people have signed on so far. But squirrels also have plenty of antagonists. I mean, just ask any home dweller who has lost sleep listening to their scratchings inside the walls. Or talk to some Connecticut rail riders. Back in 1995, a squirrel jumped on the electrical lines that supply power to the trains, short-circuited the system, and left some 47,000 commuters stranded for several hours. And 4 years ago another squirrel danced on the power lines. This time it led to a temporary shutdown of the NASDAQ stock-trading network. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.



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