The thirteen-lined ground squirrel!
Central Ohio is home to the easternmost populations of the thirteen-lined ground squirrel, Spermophilus tridecemlineatus. How about that for a scientific name?
My buddy and co-worker Rick G., who many of you know and love as Ohio's Natural Heritage Botanist, and his lovely wife, were out gallivanting this weekend near Circleville, Ohio, and spotted this quite photogenic creature. Fascinating, isn't it? Ohioans, have you ever had an encounter with these? How about our friends on the plains? Apparently, the Minnesota Golden Gopher is actually a thirteen-lined ground squirrel. I guess the nickname "The Minnesota Spermophilus tridecemlineatuses" was too long, so they went with the golden gophers. Thanks Rick for these awesome images.
Also, if you are out and about, and happen to capture some great images of Ohio's Natural History, but don't have enough time to do a blog yourself, send them to me, and I'll feature them here. My e-mail is in the sidebar on the right, just above my facebook badge.