Squir"rel(skwr"rl skwr"-; 277), n. [OE. squirel, OF. esquirel, escurel, F. cureuil, LL. squirelus, squirolus, scuriolus, dim. of L. sciurus, Gr. si`oyros; skia` shade + o'yra` tail. Cf. Shine, v. i.] 1. (Zol.) Any one of numerous species of small rodents belonging to the genus Sciurus and several allied genera of the family Sciurid. Squirrels generally have a bushy tail, large erect ears, and strong hind legs. They are commonly arboreal in their habits, but many species live in burrows.
Among the common North American squirrels are the gray squirrel (Sciurus Carolinensis) and its black variety; the fox, or cat, squirrel (Sciurus cinereus, or Sciurus niger) which is a large species, and variable in color, the southern variety being frequently black, while the northern and western varieties are usually gray or rusty brown; the red squirrel (see Chickaree); the striped, or chipping, squirrel (see Chipmunk); and the California gray squirrel (Sciurus fossor). Several other species inhabit Mexico and Central America. The common European species (Sciurus vulgaris) has a long tuft of hair on each ear. The so-called Australian squirrels are marsupials. See Petaurist, and Phalanger.
2. One of the small rollers of a carding machine which work with the large cylinder.
(Zol.), the prairie dog. --
(Zol.), the striped gopher. See Gopher, 2. --
(Zol.). See Flying squirrel, in the Vocabulary. --
(Zol.). See Jelerang. --
(Bot.), a North American herb (Dicentra Canadensis) bearing little yellow tubers. --
(Bot.), the blossom of the Hepatica triloba, a low perennial herb with cup-shaped flowers varying from purplish blue to pink or even white. It is one of the earliest flowers of spring. --
(Zol.) (a) A sea bass (Serranus fascicularis) of the Southern United States. (b) The sailor's choice (Diplodus rhomboides). (c) The redmouth, or grunt. (d) A market fish of Bermuda (Holocentrum Ascensione). --
(Bot.), a pestiferous grass (Hordeum murinum) related to barley. In California the stiffly awned spikelets work into the wool of sheep, and into the throat, flesh, and eyes of animals, sometimes even producing death. --
(Zol.), a common American hake (Phycis tenuis); -- called also
white hake. --
(Zol.), any rough-legged hawk; especially, the California species Archibuteo ferrugineus. --
(Zol.) (a) Any one of several species of small, soft-haired South American monkeys of the genus Callithrix. They are noted for their graceful form and agility. See Teetee. (b) A marmoset. --
(Zol.), a flying phalanger of Australia. See Phalanger, Petaurist, and
Flying phalanger under Flying. --
(Zol.), any one of several species of East Indian and Asiatic insectivores of the genus Tupaia. They are allied to the shrews, but have a bushy tail, like that of a squirrel. --
(Bot.), a grass (Hordeum jubatum) found in salt marshes and along the Great Lakes, having a dense spike beset with long awns.
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