Saturday, July 14, 2007

More Squirrel News

Not only are squirrels allegedly being used as spies, they're also being used as archaeologists. CBS-13 reported yesterday on a squirrel's archaeological discovery.

ROSEVILLE An amazing discovery has been unearthed in Placer County [California]. Amazing because of its historical significance....and amazing because of how it was found. Archaeologists did not carefully unearth the 8,000 to 10,000 year old artifact, but it appears some curious squirrels dug it up.

"You can see where little tiny flakes have been knocked off to sharpen this or to give it a certain shape." explained Cultural Interpreter Rick Adams who stumbled upon the unearthed artifact along the Maidu Nature Trail. It's a carefully carved tool or ceremonial object. Experts say it appears to be partially volcanic and may have originated in the Rancho Murietta area about 20 miles from where it was discovered.

"We only find what the squirrels are giving us right now. And that's Okay. We don't want to dig." said Park Specialist Chuck Kritzon.

While the officials running the Maidu Center know there are probably more artifacts in the park, it is illegal for humans to dig them up on the protected land.

So that's where the squirrels come in. Maybe not on purpose, but you can bet there's going to be some spying on the squirrels' activity in Placer County. We can't begin to know what new discoveries the rodents will unearth in the future.


Malott said...

Didn't you have a story once about an attack squirrel in a park?

Squirrels have much more personality than rabbits... And are probably more trainable.

I think it's neat that when you tick them off they'll sometimes sit up in a tree and scold you.

SkyePuppy said...


Yes, there was that story about the attack squirrel. It traumatized a lot of people.

Unfortunately, here in Southern California most of the squirrels we have are of the ground variety, with skinny little tails. Tree squirrels, with their bushy, upright tails and tree-climbing ways, are much better adapted to satellite-phone use. Not to mention the way their tails provide the delicate soft-brush needed for archaeological work. They really are the ideal rodent.

Scolding is just a bonus.