Squirrel Humorously Appears To Have Long White Beard
Ever wonder what a squirrel would look like with a beard? It appears that this little guy has a mouthful of cotton, making it look like it has a beard! Too funny!
Is this a cartoon squirrel? What we probably have here is a squirrel with its cheeks stuffed with food, possibly nuts. The squirrel’s cheek pouches are notoriously flexible and can store a large volume off food which will later be buried in a winter pantry. When those cheeks are filled to capacity, it does give the appearance of “Old Man Squirrel is dancing on the fence again. Keep the kids inside until he’s gone!”
We can’t support the cheek pouch hypothesis with 100% certainty, though. For one thing, the color of its cheeks is, indeed, the pure white color of cotton balls. Can that be right? At one point we see what looks like the squirrel arranging the contents of its cheeks, and in a profile view, albeit at zoom distance, it does look like filled cheeks rather than something being held on the outside of its mouth. Whatever the case, it sure is funny looking.
Many rodents have cheek pouches. Chipmunks have notoriously large cheek pouches, and video evidence of chipmunks filling their cheeks is well documented. Ground squirrels have cheek pouches, and are recognizable by their less furry tail and speckled back fur. But the gray squirrel, of which this specimen appears to be a member, is considered to not have cheek pouches. If that is true, then this video really does present a mystery. But the cheek pouch hypothesis here is supported by the puffiness of the object on either side of the squirrel’s mouth, which seems much thinner toward the front of the mouth.
Another more chilling possibility is that this squirrel is suffering from some malady, like an abscess or injury to its face. We can’t quite explain why the cheeks are so darned white, compared to the rest of its underside, which is more tan or tawny in color. Another possibility is that this squirrel is enjoying dumplings from a Chinese takeout. Without getting another up-close examination, we can’t really say for sure what is going on here.
Squirrels are an easy thing to love in their natural habitat, although they do tend to be quite messy if they find their way into your home. They also vex bird enthusiasts with their clever piracy of bird feeders. Gray squirrels have been shown to learn how to solve increasingly complicated foils put in place to prevent them from raiding bird feeders.
The birdseed problem also proves gray squirrels don’t just depend on nuts for sustenance but will forage for an assortment of wild provender. Perhaps we are seeing a mushroom or other fungus in this video. The one certainty this video proves is that squirrels are always fun and interesting to watch. You just never know what they are going to do next. We are fortunate that squirrels are one kind of wildlife that doesn’t have any qualms about living near humans. For the most part, they make excellent neighbors. Their curious antics keep us company during slow interludes when we are bumming around our backyards.