Squirrels are fast-running and active animals that can quickly turn and get out of human sight in seconds.
Do Squirrels Always Land on Their Feet? Squirrels always land on their feet because it is their natural instinct to attain a stretched body shape and land safely on the ground. The webbed feet, padded legs, bushy tails, and strong ankles help them reach the ground safely without any structural injury. Furthermore, they have lightweight bodies favoring acrobatic behavior and helping maintain balance.
It is common for squirrels to fall down a tree when jumping to different tree branches, so they have developed strategies to avoid severe damage after falling, including landing on their feet.
Why do squirrels land on their feet?
Some squirrels can reach the ground safely and manage to land on hard surfaces by extending their bodies outward.
It is only possible due to their unique body features like their feet, and body strength varies from other furry animals.
They have the natural instinct of landing on their feet because their bodies are designed to do so. They can efficiently manage to bring changes in their bodies by extending them outward.
Their bodies’ primary instinct is to stretch their limbs outward because the cartilage between their feet helps them extend.
Accordingly, these animals attain an ideal body shape that helps them land safely on the hard surface to ensure the safety of their bodies.
It helps them avoid structural injuries that can otherwise lead to breakage of bones and swelling of body parts due to direct hitting.
Padded or webbed feet
The bodies of flying squirrels are designed to always land on their feet as they have webbed feet and padded legs.
Their feet have cartilage in between the ankles that give a webbed structure and help them land safely. It helps protect bones from severe damage and keeps them intact after a fall.
Moreover, their legs have a padded structure that can efficiently absorb shocks and give a cushioning effect when they fall down on the ground and helps them balance their bodies on their feet.
The long bushy tails of squirrels enable them to manage their flight through the air as they act as stabilizers.
It helps them show acrobatic behavior when flying through the air and moving towards the ground. This fluffy tail makes them fly like parachutes and is responsible for acrobatic acts.
Moreover, these tails slow down their falling speed and keep them in the air for an appropriate time, increasing the possibility of a safe landing.
The presence of fur can provide excellent resistance to air and increase the overall time to reach the ground so that these animals can change their bodies.
Moreover, their tails can protect their bodies from directly hitting the ground as it touches the hard surface first.
They show extraordinary behavior in the air, and these tails can help them swim and keep them flowing on the water’s surface.
Maintenance of balance
Landing on the feet helps birds and animals to attain a balanced position quickly after reaching the ground surface as they walk on their legs.
Some of them can also fall on their abdomens when they have no time to manage their bodies and reach the floor quickly, but it can be painful sometimes.
Moreover, they can quickly jump from one tree to another and safely land on the branches of trees.
It is common for these fast-running and jumping animals to fall down the trees, so their balancing capabilities help them reach the floor slowly and land on their legs.
Rodents usually have locked positions of their ankles that can only remain in a single position. However, squirrels have swiveling ankle joints that help them rotate their feet.
In addition, these furry animals can rotate their legs at almost 180 degrees and attain a desirable position.
This movement helps them acquire different positions while falling from the tree down to the soft or hard surface or jumping between trees.
Additionally, their wrists are resistant to damage and can efficiently support their lightweight bodies, which helps them survive after a fall.
How do squirrels land on their feet?
Squirrels attain a gliding position while falling from the tree and move their limbs close to the body. Straightening legs can make them stop rotation and decrease the time of falling.
Moreover, their tails attain a parachute position while landing on the ground, which helps maintain balance and stability.
Their fluffy tails come down their bodies, protecting their bodies to avoid damage to the abdomen. Falling on the abdomen can affect internal organs, which can be deadly and lead to internal bleeding.
Furthermore, these swiftest creatures can take almost 30 to 35 miles per hour when falling from a maximum height.
The falling time could increase when they bring changes in their limbs and stretch muscles in the desired manner.
So, their extraordinary body features enable them to land on their feet without getting any injury, and this behavior is not expected in all of these furry animals.
What type of squirrels can land on their feet?
A few species of squirrels can manage to land on their legs like flying squirrels because their bodies are naturally designed to extend their limbs and bring them close to their bodies.
The name of the flying squirrel indicates that it can efficiently glide in the air for a short time compared to other species due to its foot structure.
In addition, it is challenging for baby squirrels to manage their flight and bring quick changes in their bodies while moving toward the ground.
Furthermore, they cannot stretch their body quickly as their response time is more than adults, which can lead to quick falling on the ground leading to severe injuries.
So, it takes time for the babies to adapt and understand the height range when falling. This estimation helps them bring quick changes in the body shape, turning into a parachute.
How high can a squirrel jump without getting hurt?
They are acrobatic animals with light bodies that can reach the surface safely when falling from a good height.
These animals can efficiently handle almost 80 to 100 feet of height efficiently when the surface is not hard, like a garden with a soil bed.
However, the jumping height decreases to almost 40 to 50 feet when the surface is hard, like a marble floor or a road, which is harsh for their soft bodies.
Most of these active animals survive after falling, while a few, like babies, usually die due to internal bleeding and bone breakage because they have no idea how to handle the situation.