Bigfoot Squirrel

Bigfoot Squirrels are large athletic squirrels native to the plane of Jannada. Their unique skeletal and muscular structures are adapted for comfortable living within the migratory forests of Walking Trees.

Basic Information

Anatomy

Bigfoot Squirrels possess two pairs of limbs, ending in particularly large five-clawed paws. They have a shorter tail than most squirrels compared to their large size, with the ability to smooth or ruffle their tail fur as needed for communication. Unlike most squirrels their tail is rarely used for balance, as their oversized feet and claws allow for ease of climbing even between branches and the frequent movements of their tree homes discourage jumping from branch to branch.   The squirrels are quite muscular due to their finely honed muscle reflexes, tuned to retain their balance under even the most strenuous conditions. Their bones are surpringly lightweight and pliable, with natural shock absorpers built from bone and tendons at each wrists and ankles.

Ecology and Habitats

Bigfoot Squirrels possess larger feet and claws than the average squirrel, as well as even more flexible joints along each leg, allowing them a firmer grip in adverse conditions. This adaptation allows them to remain aloft within the migratory Walking Trees of Jannada, even while sleeping. The squirrels build large nests within their home trees, migrating with the forests and patrolling their chosen tree to protect it from insects, birds, and other potential predators.   The displaced Bigfoot Squirrel population located in the Andisol Valley, meanwhile, is struggling to adapt to the stationary forests of Fillimet. Most survivors have been adopted by the indigenous Tufted Red Squirrels native to the area, resulting in the Bigfoots shadowing their smaller-footed relatives to learn new survival techniques.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Baby Bigfoots and their nursing mothers rely largely on a diet of fruit produced by their Walking Tree home, supplemented by the occasional insect which makes its way through the dense canopies. Juvenile Bigfoot Squirrels consume mainly insects from among the outer edge of the tree canopy. Elder squirrels and adult male squirrels require the nut-based diet as produced by the trees' middle canopy. The Bigfoots' diets are occasionally supplemented by the consumption of predatory birds, with any squirrel who participated in the successful swarming of the winged predator permitted the opportunity of a bite of the spoils.

Additional Information

Social Structure

The Bigfoot Squirrel is particularly social, even among squirrels. They have developed a hierarchy based upon age and experience, with the younger or newer squirrels to a tree's population patrolling the outer perimeter of the tree's branches and growth, while the more mature or experienced squirrels patrol the middle canopy and the nursing mothers keep to the nests at the center. In this way the mothers and young consume more fruits, the elder squirrels more nuts, and the adolescent squirrels more flying insects, each receiving the proper nutrients required for their current stage of development.   While Bigfoots usually patrol their routes alone, mainly capturing smaller insects wishing to consume or burrow into the tree, they are quick to signal for assistance when larger predators approach. The squirrels are not pack hunters, instead relying upon sheer numbers to exhaust and overwhelm their targets.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Bigfoot Squirrels are native to the plane of Jannada, making their homes in the famed migratory Walking Trees.   They have also been spotted occasionally in Tufted Red Squirrel colonies within the Andisol Valley since The Refuse War, most commonly around the ruins of Freeport. These squirrels are hypothesized to have been caught in the field of effect of the Jannadan assault portals prior to the attack.

Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms

The Walking Trees of Jannada rely upon the Bigfoot Squirrel for protection from pests and predators such as insects or birds which would seek to harm the tree. In return, the tree provides for every physical need of its inhabiting Bigfoots, in the form of water captured in its leaves, Insects and other pests consumed to protect the tree, and fruits and nuts grown by the trees. The squirrels also assist the migratory trees in increasing their numbers as many of the seeds within the fruits and nuts will take root after digestion, fertilized by the squirrel's additional excrement.
Genetic Ancestor(s)
Scientific Name
Sciurus claria
Lifespan
20 years
Conservation Status
Least Concern
Average Height
28 to 36 in
Average Weight
4 to 5.5 lbs
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Bigfoot Squirrels possess a reddish brown fur tint, very similar to that of the smaller Tufted Red Squirrel. A light cream colored fur covers their bellies, extending from nose to rump, with a light brown or dark cream blending where the two shades meet.


Comments

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25 Feb, 2020 11:55

SQUIRREL! ( insert photo of Doug the dog here ) ... seriously. Nice article! I love it! Now I'm curious over the walking trees as well!

— The wolf of Tales of Justice, Creator of Legends of Elohey, Star Wars: Shards, Fiven Chronicles and more!
25 Feb, 2020 12:03

So, a question!   The squirrels hunt birds that threaten the walking trees. So I'm picturing woodpeckers or worse. Makes sense, the squirrels have a symbiotic relationship to the tree.   So ... what hunts the squirrels?   AND! I'm getting a sense the walking trees are large. Are the squirrels solitary hunters? Ambush hunters? Or do they hunt in packs?

— The wolf of Tales of Justice, Creator of Legends of Elohey, Star Wars: Shards, Fiven Chronicles and more!
25 Feb, 2020 13:15

The squirrels would be solitary hunters for the most part as the biggest threat comes from insects - termites, aphids, caterpillars, that sort of thing. They are smart enough to work together to take down larger threats like birds but more of a swarming behavior, rather than coordinated pack hunting like wolves.   As a visual imagine a bunch of toddlers playing with a bubble machine (insects - scattered but each picks their own area to clear), and then suddenly an adult wanders in with a piece of cake (bird - disorganized but persistent and overwhelming swarm).   Regarding squirrel predators, oh definitely. Someone has to protect the rest of the tree after all, and that something has to eat. I just haven't sorted out the details as I need to figure out the tree's locomotion first. I don't imagine them waving their branches around or anything, but a bit torn on whether or not the tree physically performs the walking. One part of me says yes, that would be a lot of fun, while the other half wants to put them on a creature, like the shell of a giant turtle, which eats any squirrels that fall. (The tree seeds dropped by the squirrels would then be adopted by younger turtles to grow into their own shell forests). Both would be a lot of fun to play with... And I haven't decided which would be more fun. :X

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
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