The very hot winter of 2015 is having some unexpected consequences: squirrels are getting fat.
The winter season for overindulgence has come and passed, but for these little critters in North America and Europe, it left behind a big mark. The mild climate of this winter meant that trees had lots of seeds and nuts, and squirrels took advantage of this to bulk up.
the fattest squirrel I've ever seen in my life just stole an avocado from our trash can pic.twitter.com/zoeTV9dhAf
— b (@brob3rts) December 2, 2014
Squirrels cannot digest cellulose, so they must rely on foods rich in protein, carbohydrates, and fats - which they get from seeds and nuts.
Mirror mirror on the wall, is this really what I look like? A fat squirrel? pic.twitter.com/Y8j0etEgKg
— Socks Fake (@fox_sake) December 24, 2015
However, their new shape likely won't last much: the end of the winter and beginning of spring is the roughest period for them, as buried nuts begin to sprout and are no longer available for the squirrel to eat, and new food sources have not become available yet.