Cape ground squirrel

Cape ground squirrel

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Credit: PETER CHADWICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cape ground squirrel (Xerus inauris) biting a mole snake (Pseudoaspis cana). This rodent lives in arid open areas in southern Africa, where it digs an extensive burrow system. The burrow is occupied by a colony of 5-30 squirrels and defended rigorously against potential intruders. The squirrel is attempting to drive the snake from its territory. The mole snake is non-venomous and so is susceptible to the teeth of the squirrel, which bites the reptile along the length of its body, starting at the tail, as seen here. This may kill the snake. Photographed in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, South Africa.

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Keywords: animal, attacking, biting, cape ground squirrel, kalahari gemsbok national park, mammal, mole snake, nature, predator, prey, pseudoaspis cana, reptile, rodent, south african, wildlife, xerus inauris, zoology

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