A Malabar big squirrel, or Indian gigantic squirrel, was a sight to behold for squirrel specialist John Koprowski, who couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
John thought when he visited India that the animal was more like a primate than a squirrel due to its large size.
But that is not all that is amazing about the Malabar giant squirrel; its color is just as amazing. Take a look at the incredible gallery below:
“These are giants!” It was said by Koprowski, an associate director and a university professor in Arizona’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.
Actually, it was a giant squirrel, approximately twice the size of an eastern gray squirrel, which squirrels were not used to seeing in their natural habitat.
Black, brown, orange, maroon, and purple are just a few of the many colors they can come in.
The shades of purple and maroon seen in this squirrel are very rare in mammals, so it makes it even more interesting.
They’re not simply gorgeous to look at, but their brilliant colors and patterns help them survive in the wilderness.
According to Koprowski, “the patchy colors and dark tints are a remarkable adaptation to avoid detection in the darkened understory of a dense forest.”
“But when you see these in the sunlight, they show their ‘true colors’ and beautiful pelage [fur]”.
Wikipedia says that their food includes fruits, flowers, nuts and tree bark. There are some omnivorous subspecies that eat bug larvae and bird eggs as well.
In the Malabar forest canopy, Malabar giant squirrels avoid the ground, leaping and hopping from tree to tree, sometimes with leaps of more than 20 feet!
Even if they aren’t now at risk of extinction, these beautiful creatures must nonetheless be preserved.
The likelihood of encountering one of these animals in the wild is quite remote.
Traveling to eastern or southern India would not only entail extensive travel, but it would also entail extensive trips deep into the Indian jungles.