What is the State Mammal of North Carolina?
The gray squirrel is the official state mammal of North Carolina. It was entitled as the official state mammal of North Carolina in 1969. The scientific name of the Gray squirrel is Sciurus carolinensis, which is commonly known as Gray squirrel or Eastern Gray squirrel. The North Carolina’s state mammal, Gray Squirrel is native to the midwestern and eastern region of United States, and to the southern portions of the eastern provinces of Canada.
It is also found from New Brunswick to Manitoba, south to East Texas and Florida. It has been introduced into United Kingdom, Ireland, Cape Verde, Hawaii, Bermuda, the Canary Islands, Madeira Island, the Azores, Italy and South Africa. The law designating the Gray squirrel as the official North Carolina state mammal Statutes Chapter 145, Section 145-5.
State Mammal of North Carolina Facts—
- Common Name: Gray squirrel or Eastern Gray squirrel.
- Scientific Name: Sciurus carolinensis,
- Habitat: Gray squirrels range throughout North America, England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia and parts of Europe.
- Color: buff to dark brown
- Length: 25 to 30 cm
- Weight: 400 to 600 grams
- Diet: Acorns, hickory nuts, walnuts, beechnuts, grapes, apples, American hornbeam seeds, black cherry, berries, maple buds, maple bark, maple samaras, yellow poplar blossoms, flowering dogwood, sedges, grasses, American holly, fungi and other plant matter, adult insects and larvae, baby birds, bird eggs, toads, frogs and other amphibians.
- Cubs: 2-8 naked (furless) and pink babies.
- Major strength: good sense of smell
Lifespan Its lifespan is up to 20 years in captivity, while in wild for a maximum period of 13 years.
North Carolina’s state mammals, Gray squirrels, have been occurring twice breeding seasons in a year. The first season starts from December to February, and another season starts around May to late June. The males are very promiscuous as breeders, and they spoil themselves in substantial activity during breeding. The Gray Squirrel gestation period is for about 44 days.
At the time of birth, the juvenile squirrel has larger head and feet than the other body structures, and although their eyes are closed. The North Carolina’s state mammals, gray squirrel have able to leap trees and to get away from the predators, which the significant adaptations. They can also get food effortlessly. Their sharp claws help to climb trees easily and grasp things. Their sharp tooth helps to open the nuts. During their courtship rite, the gray squirrels scamper on the trees.