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Funambulus Spp., the striped palm squirrels

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Chapter Summary

The striped palm squirrels are small rodents with a head and body length of about 13-15 cm, and a tail which is slightly longer than the body. The two common species of South Asia are the three-striped or southern Indian palm squirrel with three white stripes running along its dark brown back, and the five-striped or northern Indian palm squirrel with two additional white stripes running on the flanks, parallel to the three dorsal stripes. The five-striped palm squirrels in reliefs from northern India are realistic and reproduced in much detail, except for an enigmatic blunt tail tip. The three-striped palm squirrels in reliefs from southern India, on the other hand, are rendered much more schematic and not particularly realistic. This difference between northern and southern squirrel carvings is best explained by the commensal nature of the five-striped species contrary to that of the three-striped and dusky-striped species.

Keywords: five-striped palm squirrels; northern Indian squirrel carvings; southern Indian squirrel carvings; stone sculpture; three-striped palm squirrels in reliefs



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