The squirrel that kills and eats deer

A recent article in The Washington Post describes a species of ground squirrel in Borneo that jumps on unsuspecting muntjac deer and rips open its jugular vein. After the deer has bled out, the squirrel apparently feeds on its heart, stomach and liver, but not the flesh. The story concerns the antics of the tufted ground squirrel (Reithrosciurus macrotis) and is based on a paper entitled Tall tales of a tropical squirrel by Emily Meijaard, Rona Dennis &  Erik Meijaard, published in Taprobanica: The Journal of Asian Biodiversity. In addition to its rumoured carnivorous habits and other squirrels that are said to actively hunt birds and animals, the authors consider the affinity of the tufted ground squirrel and the possible functions of its very large, bushy tail.

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