ground squirrel

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English[edit]

A Columbian ground squirrel
(Urocitellus columbianus,
previously Spermophilus columbianus)
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Noun[edit]

ground squirrel (countable and uncountable, plural ground squirrels)

  1. Any of a number of medium-sized squirrel-like borrowing rodents of the tribe Marmotini (i.e., excluding the smaller chipmunks and the larger marmots and prairie dogs).
    • 1987, Peter Alden, Fiona Reid, Mammals, Peterson Field Guide Color-in Books, page 21,
      Many ground squirrels sit up and look like prairie dogs, but a ground squirrel can be recognized by its longer face and tall.
    • 2003, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, Integrated Pest Management for Walnuts, UCANR Publication 3270, page 23,
      In some areas, ground squirrels may present a potential health problem because they carry ectoparasites that may transmit diseases such as bubonic plague to humans.
      The adult California ground squirrel has a head and body 9 to 11 inches (23-28 cm) long and a somewhat bushy tail that is about as long as the body.
    • 2003, Lourdes Rugge, Carl G. Thelander, K. Shawn Smallwood, Bird Risk Behaviors and Fatalities at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, page 23,
      Pocket gophers appear to be abundant in the APWRA on both sides of Altamont Pass Road, whereas ground squirrels appear to be abundant only on the north side.
  2. Any of the squirrel-like borrowing rodents of the tribes Marmotini and Xerini.
  3. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see ground,‎ squirrel.
    • 2011, Anil, HOW TO DOUBLE THE MEANING OF LIFE, page 114:
      Till you learn the offal truth: may contain ground cow, ground hog, groundhog, ground squirrel, ground beetle, ground ground, ground excretera,
    • 2005, Steve Koenig, ‎Ken Mitchell, They Call Her Ed, page 135:
      That printer gadget of mine sounds like a live squirrel being cranked through a sausage grinder. You ever go on the Inter-Web?" "No," Johnny said. "Hell, I can't even make my calculator add right. But I do know what ground squirrel tastes like.

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