Looking for information on what do squirrels eat? Squirrels are a type of rodent that can be found in many locations, including the United States, Australia, and Africa. They belong to a family that is called Sciuridae, which also includes chipmunks and prairie dogs. When people see squirrels in the wild, they often assume that they eat a diet that is similar to other animals that live in their environment, such as deer and rabbit. However, that is not true because unlike those animals, squirrels do not have the ability to digest cellulose.
Squirrels rely heavily on foods that are rich in fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Early spring is always a difficult time of the year for squirrels to find food because the nuts that they previously buried begin to sprout, which means the squirrels can no longer eat them. That forces squirrels to look for other food sources, such as the flower and leaf buds on trees. Squirrels will also eat human food, such as table scraps and dog food, but, of course, due to high fat contents, that is not healthy for them.
A wide variety of plant food is the basis of a squirrel's diet. Different types of plant food that a squirrel will consume includes seeds, fruits, nuts, fungi, conifer cones, and green vegetation, such as leaves. Other types of food that squirrels will eat includes dried corn, twigs, bark, mushrooms, and roots. Squirrels are not meat eaters, but when other food sources are no longer available, they will turn to meat and have been known to eat young birds, small rodents, and even young snakes. Squirrels that are living in tropical locations have adapted to become heavily dependent on insects.