Comment of the Day: Now Even the Squirrels Are Planking

COMMENT OF THE DAY: NOW EVEN THE SQUIRRELS ARE PLANKING “The other day I watched as a squirrel dug out a spot at the base of a smallish red oak in my front yard. I must have been about 10 or 12 feet from him. After he got it just as he wanted, he splayed out belly down in the depression he had created. I wondered if it was cool to his stomach, or what would make him do that. He didn’t seem to care about me. Was not the least bit frightened.” [PYEWACKET2, commenting on Houston Tree Massacre Body Count]

11 Comment

  • Wish there were a picture to accompany this story!

  • Yes, the squirrels (tree rats) are doing the same thing in my yard. So does my dog.

  • Type in the phrase “overheated squirrel” into Google Images, and you will see a lot of spread-eagle prostrate squirrels. It does seem to be a physiological reaction to extreme heat in squirrels. I’ve seen it before–and like with PYEWACKET2, this behavior seems to overrule squirrel’s typical flight response.

  • First time I ever saw this was on Rice campus, which is known for the strange behavior of its squirrels. I see it’s not limited to just our little furry buddies.

  • Thanks for the suggestion. What an odd phenomenon!

  • Rice squirrels have definitely been laying out – bricks, concrete, tile, anything cool like these little dudes:

  • #6 Lauren,

    That photo is exactly what he looked like, only in dirt. He spent a considerable amount of time digging the area. Not deep but large enough for his body.

  • I have a pretty domesticaed squrill that comes to my back sliding glass every day to be fed. It’s funny as hell to see him go into a prone position like that. I have a few photos I’ll toss online.

  • When I was a kid we kept an injured squirrel as a pet. On hot days we’d give him a wide dish full of wet sand in the shade. He *loved* it, and yes, he could lay spread eagle on the thing until it heated up again. We’d splash it with a hose, and he’d plop contentedly back in place again.

  • Here’s a photo I captured the other day from one in my backyard!!

    Each day that I go out the indention is dug deeper and bigger.

  • I’ve seen them do that in the past and thought it was some kind of flea smothering maneuver. We were caring for an abandoned baby squirrel (Drexler) briefly before handing him over to someone better equipped and he was completely fearless. He would race out of his cage, up my leg and into my shirt through the open sleeve in the blink of an eye. Once inside my shirt, he would race around my torso like I was a human Habitrail wheel. Not the most comfortable of experiences.