Squirrels are daredevils when it comes to heights. They are significantly larger than mice and can readily survive being knocked down. But, can squirrels die from falling in a long run?
Squirrels are rodents who do not perish from falling. They can resist severe falls and injuries, yet they remain. So how far can a squirrel fall?
Squirrels are mammals with unusual physical characteristics that allow them to fall from great heights with little damage. They can survive falling from 100 feet or more.
But, more height could bring injuries or even death to them for logical reasons.
This article will teach you all there is to know about squirrels and heights. I’ve discussed how big a squirrel can get before it gets hurt and how a squirrel differs from other rodents in terms of intellect.
Can a squirrel die from falling?
It’s highly unlikely for a squirrel to die from falling. Squirrels usually have low terminal velocity, meaning they have a huge projected area relative to mass.
Therefore, gravity is unable to exert a lot of force on them, lowering their falling velocity and enabling them to land safely without injuries or death.
The reason behind a squirrel’s low terminal velocity is its ability to spread its legs and increase its body’s total surface area during fall.
This produces a “parachute effect” which is further enhanced by its large bushy tail and body fur—significantly reducing aerodynamic drag.
As a result, the squirrel perfectly resists the impact of falling velocity and survives a fall.
Mind you, the squirrel achieves its terminal velocity in the first 3 seconds of its fall—meaning it will hit the ground at the same speed whether it falls off a cliff or on top of a pine tree.
This explains why squirrels have been shown to fall off high heights without getting any serious injuries.
Additional factors that affect the survivability of a squirrel from a fall include the height, landing surface, its health condition before the fall, and the angle it falls at.
Squirrels that land on hard surfaces, e.g. concrete floor, from high heights are more likely to sustain injuries than those that hit softer surfaces, e.g. grass or leaves.
Squirrels with preexisting health problems such as heart conditions, weak bones, etc., are less likely to survive falls.
Large squirrels also have higher survival chances than smaller squirrels
Check this interesting video of a squirrel taking a dive from the 21st floor and walking afterward like nothing just happened:
Can a squirrel survive a fall from any height? What about Empire State Building?
A squirrel can survive a fall from any height, though the higher the height the lower the survival chances.
For instance, if a squirrel is to fall from Empire State Building, which is 1,454 feet tall, it may still survive.
This is due to its low terminal velocity as well as physical attributes that enable it to fall from different heights at the same speed.
With a large surface area to mass ratio, gravity doesn’t pull on the squirrel with too much force as it does on other animals.
This enables it to hit its terminal velocity much faster and quickly spread the point of impact across its entire body.
Moreover, this rodent has a pretty agile body with good balance. This enables it to quickly adjust midair so it lands at a safe angle.
Even better, the animal can curl up into a ball before it hits the ground to help reduce the force of impact from a fall.
However, keep in mind that the factors we discussed previously will still influence the squirrel’s survivability from this height.
Is It Possible For Squirrels To Die If They Fall From A Tree?
Squirrels are great climbers, therefore it’s hard to believe that a squirrel may perish by falling from a tree. So, can squirrels die as a result of a fallen tree?
When a squirrel falls from a tree, it does not die. They are natural and great climbers, and it is also difficult for them to fall from a tree.
Their sharp claws grasp into the tree bark, making it hard for it to fall apart. When they climb a tree they move in a sporadic, swift, and accurate manner. All of these skills enhance their natural ability to climb a tree quickly and safely.
Is It Possible For Baby Squirrels To Die From Falling?
Now that we know squirrels are great climbers and can’t fall out of trees, what about baby squirrels? Is it possible for newborn squirrels to die from falling?
No, no, no! Squirrel babies do not die when they fall. Their mothers look after them, and they have a low risk of falling due to their inherent ability to climb a tree efficiently.
How Far Does a Squirrel Have to Fall to Die?
Squirrels are natural and exceptional climbers, and we know that their physical prowess aids them in surviving falls from great heights. But how far can squirrels fall without getting hurt?
A squirrel may fall from heights of up to 100 feet and not be damaged. What about a distance of 200 feet? Is it possible for a squirrel to survive a fall of 200 feet?
Squirrels have a lower terminal velocity because of their lightweight and low gravity. So, the higher the height, the lower the chance of injury. Because, by this time they adopt themselves with lower terminal velocity.
Let’s see a squirrel jumps from a high-rise building.
What Is A Squirrel’s Terminal Velocity?
The squirrel, like rodents, is tiny and has a low center of gravity. A squirrel’s final velocity is 10.28 m/s and 23 mph, according to calculations. The explanation for this is that squirrels have a huge area to-mass ratio, which means gravity does not exert too much force on them.
As a result, when falling from a higher height, it can lower its falling velocity due to its lighter weight. This helps it to skip injury on falling from a height.
A curious question could be raised, can a squirrel survive a fall from a plane?
The answer is NO. The pressure, temperature, and lack of oxygen would kill it, but let’s pretend this squirrel wears a special suit.
Then no, its velocity would be far too high for its little wings to withstand, and it would only survive if it landed in water (where it would still drown) or on something extremely soft.
Are Squirrels Intelligent?
Yes, squirrels are intelligent. They are well-informed. Different vocalizations and smell markings are used to communicate with one another.
Squirrels also use their tails as a signaling device, twitching them when they are in danger or feel nervous. Furthermore, they are masters of adaptation and can live practically everywhere. Here are some facts about squirrels that distinguish them from other rodents:
They are quick at learning
Squirrels are quick to pick up new information. They are able to learn by watching others.
Squirrels have incredible memories. As a result, they bury their nuts in the ground so that they can retrieve them later. They may learn new things this way because of their excellent memory.
Squirrels are distinguished from other rodents by their ability to remember things and their ability to live anyplace.
Do Squirrels Take Fall Damage?
Squirrels can take fall damage, just like any other animal. Depending on the height, health status, and the area it lands on, a squirrel can easily sustain damage to its internal organs, tissues, and even bones.
Or it might even die!
But the extent of damage will depend on various factors such as what surface the squirrel lands on.
A squirrel that falls off a high height, such as the empire state building, is more likely to sustain serious injuries or even die compared to one that falls off a tree.
Likewise, a squirrel that lands on a hard surface such as concrete is more likely to develop injuries than a squirrel that lands on grass or bushes.
Also, if the squirrel in question has preexisting health conditions, it’s likely to take fall damage compared to a strong and healthy one.
→How high can a squirrel jump from the ground?
5 feet is a natural jumping ability of a squirrel from the ground. But, it also can jump up to 7 feet from the tree, or from the upper of the houses. Sometimes this reaches 9 feet.
So, keep your birds feeder at least 10 feet high, and 10 feet away from trees so that the squirrels cannot reach them out.
So, can squirrels die from falling? As a highly lightweight animal, squirrels naturally withstand falling from high. Also, the lower terminal velocity helps to disperse the impact of falling as well.
Though the general answer is “no”, there are things to consider. Since you may find a squirrel surviving 100 feet falling, or more height, it could be damaged, or die if it fall in front of a running car, falls on its back, or on something sharp. And please, don’t expect a squirrel will survive falling from the planes.