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Sleeping Shadow Tail | Dixi Talent Scout Design

He's finally here!

Meet our newest Squirrel Friend, the Sleeping Shadow Tail! Designed by 
Nina Pfeiffer as part of our Dixi Talent Scout Competition, and bought to life in collaboration with Dixi, Chaser Spaeth & Caroline. Design adjustment instructions by Dixi, realisation of adjusted design by Chaser Spaeth, and completed with a final hidden acorn element by our CAD master Caroline.
Nina was the mastermind behind this magical little guy, and bringing him to you all has been a huge team effort; we are so proud of him!

While the steps look simple, producing jewellery can be a long process with unexpected challenges to overcome, and fine details to iron out along the way. Come with us on the journey from sketch to reality....

To celebrate the arrival of our newest Squirrel friend, we have compiled some interesting facts, cute pics, videos, and links for you to enjoy!

The English word "Squirrel" comes from the Greek word 'skiouros,' which is derived from 'skia,' meaning 'shadow,' and 'oura,' meaning 'tail.' Hence the name of our new Squirrel friend!

Image Credit: Ghadeer Jdeed on Unsplash | Shane Young on Unsplash  

Red vs. Grey Squirrels



Scientific name: Sciurus vulgaris

Scientific name: Sciurus carolinensis

Habitat: Woodland areas

Habitat: Woodlands and urban areas

Smaller in size, typically up to 400g

Larger in size, typically up to 600g

Orange / red / brown

Mostly grey, with areas of brown

Tufted ears

Non-tufted ears

Tail usually one colour

Tail commonly multi-coloured

UK Population: estimated 140,000

UK Population: estimated 2.5 million

Population confined to Scotland,
areas of North England and Wales,
and small islands off the English Coast
(like the Isle of Wight). Also found in parts of Ireland.

Population thrives throughout the UK and Ireland.

Lifespan of 3-6 years in wild

Lifespan of 2-5 years in the wild

The decline of Red Squirrels in the UK

Red squirrels, like the ones more commonly depicted in Autumnal / Fall imagery, are native to the UK but their population has been drastically lowered thanks to the import and introduction of grey squirrels from North America during the Victorian period. Grey squirrels, which are typically larger in size, are probably the type you’ve seen stealing food from picnickers in the park; but they’ve actually been destructive to the native red squirrel population by bringing with them the virus ‘squirrelpox’ (a virus that affects red squirrels while grey squirrels are immune, but it can spread very quickly), and by out-competing them for food. Grey squirrels are larger and compete more easily for food, so can force red squirrels into areas where they can’t thrive. 

But, there is good news. In 2021 it was reported in The Guardian that red squirrels could thrive in Scottish forests that have remained untouched by the grey squirrel population. 
‘Grey squirrels have not yet penetrated much of the Highlands but new modelling led by Prof Andy White, a mathematical biologist at Heriot-Watt University, suggests that there are at least 20 havens across Scotland where viable populations of reds would remain even if the greys continued to march northwards.’ We love that for you, little red squirrels. Source.

Image Credit: Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash | Ryan Hyde on Unsplash | Andrey Svistunov on Unsplash  

Did You Know?

- Squirrels can be left or right handed.
- Squirrels may store food for winter, but they don’t hibernate.
- Baby squirrels are called Kittens.
- A squirrels den is called a Drey.
- Squirrels and Birds sometimes swap and 'renovate' nests between them, or build one on top of the other! If you find a nest with leaves woven into it, it probably belongs to a Squirrel.
- An estimated 25% of food stores buried by squirrels is stolen by other animals. Squirrels have been observed pretending to bury food in an attempt to throw other animals off the scent.

Sources used for this post

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