Harris' antelope squirrel
Body length: 6 - 6 1/4"
Diet: Seeds, green vegetation, insects, and carrion
Like many squirrels, this species adapts well to humans and is an active forager in the Visitor Center parking lot. Please don't feed them - they are known to bite, and squirrels that learn to live off humans are all the more likely to be run over by cars.
Watching antelope squirrels forage in the wild is a treat. They are adept at climbing both barrel and cholla cacti in search of seeds from the fruit. This squirrel is remarkably desert-adapted, and can often be seen dashing about when the temperature exceeds 100° F. It survives by keeping these trips short, and retreating to cool, moister burrows underground. Because they do not hibernate, antelope squirrels can be seen all winter long.
Did You Know?
Tonto National Monument is home to a crested saguaro. Biologists disagree as to why some saguaros grow in this unusual form. Some speculate that it is a genetic mutation. Others say it is the result of lightning or freeze damage. About one in 150,000 saguaros develop this unusual growth.