Blinking for pet animals such as dogs, cats, goats, cows, and in fact almost all mammals, is common. These animals do this to seek either the attention of their owners or to express a feeling or emotion. Since squirrels are considered as mammals, you may want to know “do squirrels blink”? Or is blinking a good sign in animals?
All these questions and many more will be addressed in this article. Keep reading!
I receive numerous questions about squirrels from many people, and whether these animals blink is of big concern. How would you feel if someone wanted to know a few behaviors about your pet and they received nothing from you?
Please don’t take me wrongly, I’m not discrediting anyone, but my point is that you need to know your pet intensively. Dive with me in this article as we figure out if blinking is a thing for squirrels.
This article has been reviewed by Dr. Linda. Read more about our knowledge control process here.
Blinking is available to all animals, both small and large, including squirrels. Meaning that squirrels do blink sometimes. However, this activity is uncommon in squirrels. We aren’t that lucky to see squirrels blinking since these rodents consider us as predators.
They look at us with intense eyes bearing in mind that we can attack them at any time. Perhaps that is the reason why squirrel blinking may be a new thing to most people.
Moreover, life in the wild is also not easy for squirrels. There are a lot of animals that view squirrels only as food. For this reason, these guiltless little creatures have to be extremely alert and keep their eyes wide open, blinking less often.
But above all, these creatures have to blink, just like any other animal. Blinking is necessary for various reasons, as we are going to see below.
Now, a squirrel blinking wouldn’t catch you in surprise; it’s something we now know. The next thing we would want to know is the importance of blinking. Why do squirrels blink?
Blinking has a great impact not just on squirrels but all animals. A squirrel has to blink for two different important reasons, which include;
Reason#1: Moistening the Eyes
How do blinking and moistening the eye interrelate? You might be wondering. But blinking is a super way to keep the squirrel’s eyes moist. How is that?
Blinking is a natural trigger for tears production in the eye. The fresh tears have a significant impact on the eyes as they wash away any present debris and keep the eyes moist.
Failure to blink for very extended periods might make squirrels vulnerable to eye infections. The eyes would also be dry, uncomfortable, and unable to see clearly. Now you see that blinking is paramount for healthy eyes.
Reason#2: Nourish the Eyes with Oxygen
The eyes need nourishment to remain strong. Through blinking, the eyes are nourished with nutrients and oxygen.
Tears are loaded with nutrients, e.g., protein (lysozyme), amino acids, etc., that nourish the cornea’s cells of the eye. Lysozyme, in particular, acts as a natural antibiotic.
Another significance of blinking activity is to keep the eyes oxygenated. The tear film helps in transferring atmospheric oxygen to the cornea. Blood vessels are absent in the cornea, making it impossible to deliver oxygen directly.
Does a Squirrel Close its Eyes?
Don’t assume that closing eyes is common for all animals because some animals don’t express this activity. Having that in mind, where do squirrels belong to? Do they close their eyes?
Some people will confidently tell you that squirrels don’t close their eyes. However, it is the opposite; all squirrels close their eyes. They don’t sleep with their eyes open. Mark that as a fact to remember.
Blinking has its significance to squirrels, and so do closing their eyes. Closing eyes helps to block out light, and this way, squirrels tend to get a peaceful sleep. If the opposite happened, these animals would keep on waking up and be alert.
Closing eyes has other benefits. It helps keep the eyes moist, keep off debris from getting into the eyes, and keep the eye’s surface safe. Closing eyes is not without impact; it’s a requirement for eye health.
Why Do Squirrels Stare at Humans?
Squirrels staring at humans is not a foreign concept. We are lucky to associate with these animals more often, either in our homes or the wild squirrels that visit our homesteads, and have observed a few behaviors from them.
If a squirrel stares at you, it can mean a lot of things. One thing is clear to us that a squirrel can stare at you, thinking that you are a predator. These creatures have to keep an eye on their environment for safety reasons.
A squirrel can also stare at a person out of curiosity. If there are animals that I would rank high as being curious, then it’s squirrels. They observe every move we make to learn our intentions.
A squirrel can stare at you with positive intentions also. For instance, a hungry squirrel will look at you with unblinking eyes and not move to request food from you. People fond of feeding squirrels understand this better.
Can a Squirrel Remember You?
Have you thought before if squirrels can remember us? It feels happy to know that you are dealing with an animal capable of remembering you. I would also be excited to know that I’m never a foreigner to my pet.
Yes, squirrels tend to remember humans. But it varies greatly what they remember you for. If you mistreat them, don’t be shocked to see a squirrel acting aggressively or even running away.
In contrast, squirrels bond strongly with people that treat them well. They can remember your wonderful deeds to them and appear friendly to you.
These animals are proven to have an intelligent mind that helps them in remembering. For instance, they can locate regions where they bury food.
In wrapping up, yes, blinking is present in squirrels—all animals, regardless of being small or large, blink. Blinking is essential to protect the eyes from debris, moistening purposes, and for eye oxygenation.
Squirrels blinking is an occasional activity. These animals are exposed to a huge population of predators, and they have to be alert for their safety.
Also, squirrels tend to close their eyes when sleeping; they don’t leave them open. And this helps to block out light and allows the squirrel to relax and sleep well.