A maritime striped squirrel eats on a tree at Lianhua Hill Park in Futian District.
A not too common yet beautiful animal that you can find in some parks of Shenzhen, more specifically at Lianhua Hill Park, is the fascinating maritime striped squirrel (Tamiops maritimus), a very small member of the squirrel family that is about 15cm in length.
This particular rodent is characterized by having a short olive gray fur, with a pair of light yellowish stripes on the medial part of their body that goes from head to tail, which by the way, is a not too common feature to find in squirrels and an exception to the misconception that squirrels don’t show stripes on their faces and that only chipmunks do.
Aside from the light stripes, these fantastic animals also have a light coloration surrounding their eyes, a black stripe on the back of the body and a light chest that clearly contrasts with their characteristic olive gray coloration.
The maritime striped squirrel can be found in China, Vietnam and Laos, with individuals showing certain variations in their physical characteristics. They reproduce up to twice each year and have been reported to have up to three pups each time.
These little mammals are diurnal animals that feed on basically anything they can find in the forests they inhabit, including seeds, fruits, insects and even eggs. They prefer to spend most of the time on the top of trees but will usually come down to the open areas searching for food.
Mammals are always difficult to find and also always a delight to observe, so let’s continue preserving our parks by keeping them clean and healthy so we can continue enjoying these and more to come in the near future.