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Image Gallery: Red Squirrel Moms and Babies

Bigger Is Better For Baby Squirrels

(Image credit: Photo by Ryan W. Taylor)

Bigger squirrels have a better chance of staking out an exclusive territory. Juveniles that don't manage to acquire a territory before their first winter do not survive, researchers say.

A Mother's Gift

(Image credit: Photo by Ryan W. Taylor)

When the forests are crowded, pregnant squirrels boost their stress hormone levels and have faster-growing offspring.

Noisy Forest

(Image credit: Photo by Ryan W. Taylor)

Red squirrels know if the forest is crowded if they hear more territorial vocalizations from their peers, known as "rattles."

Rattle

(Image credit: Photo by Ryan W. Taylor)

A North American red squirrel in the Yukon, Canada emitting a territorial vocalization called a “rattle”. The colored pipe cleaners are threaded through ear tags to facilitate individual identification.

Mom Carrying Pups

(Image credit: Photo by Ryan W. Taylor)

Mothers carefully carry their pups in their mouths soon after a nest disturbance.

Day-Old Pup

(Image credit: Photo by Ryan W. Taylor)

A juvenile North American red squirrel that is about 1 day old.

Careful!

(Image credit: Photo by Ryan W. Taylor)

A female moving her pup from one nest to another

Prized Spruce Seeds

(Image credit: Photo by Ryan W. Taylor)

A North American red squirrel in the Yukon, Canada consuming the seeds from a white spruce cone.

Megan has been writing for Live Science and Space.com since 2012. Her interests range from archaeology to space exploration, and she has a bachelor's degree in English and art history from New York University. Megan spent two years as a reporter on the national desk at NewsCore. She has watched dinosaur auctions, witnessed rocket launches, licked ancient pottery sherds in Cyprus and flown in zero gravity. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.