Squorty Tails – “Why can we see his nipples and belly button?”

Two weeks ago, a question came up in reference to the Squorty Tails, the Delmarva Fox Squirrel, post.

Megan asked,

Do squirrels actually have nipples and belly-buttons?

We wrote the Mad Science Network who were kind enough to provide an answer to Megan’s question. They confirmed that since squirrels were eutherian mammals, that they did have nipples and belly buttons. Their full answer to our question can be read here.

However, there was still a question if the belly button and nipples could be seen on an adult squirrel through the fur. We contacted the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Ask a Scientist resource with the question. They were unable to give us an answer, but suggested that we try asking The Wildlife Center of Virginia.

And now we have the answer!

According to The Wildlife Center of Virginia a squirrel’s belly button would not be visible through the fur. Unlike humans, when squirrels are born, their umbilical cords are not tied off like they are on human babies. It is this tying of the umbilical cord which actually causes the belly button indentation. Since no one ties off baby squirrels umbilical cords, with time, they rot and fall off. This only leaves a pale mark on the skin under the fur of the adult squirrel.

The Wildlife Center of Virginia indicated that the nipples were a different matter. It is possible that nipples would be visible through the fur, but only on a lactating female squirrel.

So what does this all mean for Squorty Tails, a boy squirrel, with a visible belly button and nipples? Well, his belly button is just a pale mark, and not like the indented human belly button. As for his nipples and pale-mark-belly-button both being visible, it is obvious that Squorty shaves. How else would he have gotten that well groomed beard?

Protozoic would like to extend special thanks to The Wildlife Center of Virginia, Ask a Scientist and Mad Science Network for helping us resolve these questions. And if you have similar questions – you now know who to ask!

3 thoughts on “Squorty Tails – “Why can we see his nipples and belly button?”

  1. does he shave everything on the torso, or only the circular part encompassing the navel and nipples? he obviously doesn’t have enough sense to shave his head… maybe he would attract more ladies if he did. you know what that means, don’t you?

    shaved scary face = lady squirrels = squirrel whoopee = squirrellets = no more endangered delmarva squirrels

    see? i just saved a species.

  2. Is sexual selection by female Delmarva squirrels encouraged by the absence of facial fur? Or do they see fuzzy-faced males as better potential mates?

    Hmm…. Maybe we should forward this discussion to the Albright College ecology professor. They always had us chasing squirrels and dying their fur and what not. The Delmarva squirrel experiments should be right up their alley.

  3. Well, hopefully once the Delmarva Fox Squirrel is no longer endangered, a nice girl-squirrel will come along and tame his unruly mane.

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