Despite the Grey squirrel being an invasive non-native pest, as a non-native myself I have some sympathy for these much-maligned beasties. Today, though, rather than get into a discussion about the presence of Grey squirrels in the environment, I’d like to focus on their claws and nails, if only because I hadn’t really noticed how long their nails can get until I took this photo.
Of course, having long nails makes perfect sense for these furry acrobats. You only have to look at them leaping nimbly from branch to branch or running headfirst down a tree to realise that they need very strong powerful claws to help them perform these amazingly agile and gravity-defying feats. And, presumably, having strong long curved nails helps the Grey squirrel grip tree bark in the same way that a mountain climber uses crampons and an ice axe.