tufted ground squirrel

Borneo’s ‘carnivorous’ squirrel actually mainly eats one kind of seed

The Bornean tufted ground squirrel seems to be a nut specialist

James Armstrong / Alamy

The Bornean tufted ground squirrel became known as the “vampire squirrel” because of tales of it slashing the jugular veins of small deer. But the first study of the animal’s feeding habits has found it is a highly specialised seed eater feeding on very hard seeds produced by just a few trees.

“Virtually nothing else in the forest is capable of eating them,” says Andrew Marshall at the University of Michigan. “It’s pretty rare to have a specialised seed feeder on one plant or subset of plants. The squirrels are far …