Yellow ground squirrel or gopher-sandstone – citellus fulvus lichtenstein. Description of the animal

The largest ground squirrel. The fur of the back with a predominance of sandy-yellow tones, shaded blackish-brownish ends of guard hairs, without any trace of ticking-chatosti. Top of the head is colored like the back. Colouring sides grayish-yellow, abdomen – light, ocher-yellow. Throat lighter colored belly. Coloring the upper side of the tail of sand-yellow, the bottom light rusty. Pre-end rim of the tail is black. Limbs pale ocher. By the end of molting fur thins, volosyanoypokrov

The main factors determining the spread of yellow squirrel, are the nature of the relief, soil and vegetation cover. His area covers mainly the deserts and semi-deserts, where gopher inhabits relatively rich herbaceous vegetation (wormwood, ephemera) areas of low relief. In the steppe zone of this rodent enters only here because of the lack there ephemera.

Fossil remains of the yellow ground squirrel known from the late Pleistocene as the territory of the present range (middle and southern Urals) and beyond (Lower Don). In the Pleistocene, between the Volga and the Don, C. fulvus lived in the fauna of rodents, close to that of the modern desert-steppe east of the Volga, which included Eversmann hamster – Allocricetus eversmanni Brandt, Aral tolstohvosty jerboa – Pygerethmus platyurus Licht. and, apparently, a large gerbil – Rhombomys opimus Licht., later is not preserved (Gromov, 1957 Gromov et al, 1965). According to these authors, yellow Gopher had a common ancestor with the great red-faced and ground squirrels, but it was the separation before a large branch of the red-squirrel.

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