World’s smallest squirrel discovered in Indonesian forest

Sep 26, 2017 10:00 IST
World’s smallest squirrel discovered in Indonesian forest

Indonesian scientists from the Lambung Mangkurat University have found the world's smallest squirrel in Borneo rain forest in the central parts of the country.

The news was announced by Indonesia authorities on 25 September 2017.

The squirrel has been names as the Bormean pigmy squirrel or exilisciurus exilis.

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Key highlights

The squirrel was found in Meratus mountain of South Kalimantan province of Indonesia. There are six subspecies of small squirrels in Asia, of which three are found in Kalimantan. Of these three, two of them are endemic to Kalimantan.

The species was found on 16 September 2017 during an expedition. The species was discovered by the Barito River Expedition Team of the River Community (Melingai) and Rivers Center (BWS) II.

The squirrel is 73 mm long and weighs about 17 grams. Although active during the day, this species is quite difficult to find in a disturbed habitat.

This type of species lives across Borneo island, especially the area with height of over 1000 metres above sea surface.

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About squirrels

Squirrels are members of the family Sciuridae, a family that includes small or medium-size rodents.

The squirrel family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots, flying squirrels, and prairie dogs amongst other rodents.

Squirrels are indigenous to the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa. They were introduced by humans to Australia.

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Quick Digest

Who: World's smallest squirrel

Where: Indonesia

What: Discovered

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