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Q:

Do Richardson's ground squirrels need to drink water?

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No; Richardson's ground squirrels living in the wild do not need to drink water in the wild, but they will drink if water is readily available. Because Richardson's ground squirrels live on the dry prairie, many of them never have access to water except after a heavy rain or on a dewy morning. Ground squirrels reduce water loss from the body by producing dry feces, by making small amounts of concentrated urine, and by retreating underground in the heat of the day. By minimizing water loss, Richardson's ground squirrels are able to obtain sufficient water from their food to maintain water balance. Captive ground squirrels must be provided with a water bottle for drinking, but they prefer to obtain water from foods such as lettuce or water melon that have a high water content. more
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