Malabar giant squirrel
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Malabar giant squirrel

The most popular fictional members of the Sciuridae family were Chip and Dale. These two chipmunks, created in 1943 by The Walt Disney Company, were paired with Mickey Mouse, Pluto and Donald Duck. As always, my good friend wikipedia informs me that their names were derived from the name of the 18th-century cabinet maker and furniture designer Thomas Chippendale. Don’t ask me why. 

Chip was the logical, clever chipmunk, while Dale was created as the lazier, slower, impulsive one. Needless to say, both were adorable characters who were almost always pitted as arch enemies of Donald Duck and Pluto. 

Featured here: 

Malabar giant squirrel | Binomial name: Ratufa indica

Also known as the Indian giant squirrel, but from the real world, this member of the Sciuridae family is a large multi-coloured squirrel found in the forests and woodlands of India. It usually lives in nests in taller trees as a safeguard against predators. It jumps from tree to tree and can leap up to 20 feet. This adorable and not so little squirrel helps the eco-system by engaging in seed dispersal. Same family as Chip and Dale, but cut from a different cloth. It is also the state animal of Maharashtra.

Local names: Vishal Gilahari in Hindi, Malai-anil in Tamil, Kendalilu in Kannada and Shekru in Marathi.

Conservation Status: Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)

Kingdom: Animalia | Class: Mammalia | Order: Rodentia | Family: Sciuridae

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Rahul Jauhari

Rahul Jauhari

A well-known name in the advertising and marketing industry, Rahul is also the founder of Live Equal Foundation, a nonprofit force dedicated to removing inequity from the world. He is an avid birder, wildlife warrior and feels at home in the forest.

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