Thursday, May 19

A Squirrel of a Different Color

The WaPo this morning has an explainer on the presence of "exotic" black squirrels in the DC region: 18 dark-furred Canadian critters released at the National Zoo during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt whose decendants have spread as far as Rockville and Prince William County.

By citing a foreign source for the creatures -- a variation of the common Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) -- what the Post can't explain is why black squirrels actually seem to be common in other neaby places like Princeton, NJ. (Paul Krugman is a fan.) In college, we were simply told they were native to parts of the mid-Atlantic. Looks like apocrypha lives on in the mysterious world of tree rodents.