Wednesday, February 4, 2009

*What is a Polar Squirrel, you ask?

What is a polar squirrel, you ask? Luckily, we asked our expert environmentalist, Dr. Phinnaeas "Frosty" Freisenbern, to chime in on the matter and, perhaps illuminate on this little known creature that is invading our society.

Q: Dr. Freezer, um, burn, can you explain to us what precisely a, um, "polar squirrel" is?

A: Freisenbern. It's all about danger, really. A polar squirrel is a denison of the frozen wastes of the arctic. Often mistaken for a dog, polar squirrels are large rodents of the sciurus frostnipicus family. It is believed that the sciurus frostnipicus is a leftover from the second ice age whose range once included large portions of North America and Europe, but is now relegated to the most barren reaches of the frozen north.

Q: The second Ice Age? Now, is that the movie you're referring to?

A: Um, no, but an example of the sciurus frostnipicus can be seen in both versions of the cartoon you refer to. 

Q: Oh. I see. I'm sorry. Please continue.

A: This creature can be recognized by its squirrel face, black mouth, bushy tail, crazy googly eyes, puffy white fur and psychotic twitch--which scientists believe to be a defense mechanism meant to shake predators from their hides. 

Q: (Interrupting) Did you say..."black mouth?"

A: Yes. Like sin. Black.

Q: Ok. Well, um, where can these creatures be found? Are they dangerous? What do they eat?

A: Ho, ho, ho...slow down, my dear. When in their natural habitat, polar squirrels subsist on a diet of eskimos, seals, polar nuts and snow. Polar squirrels, when isolated and kept for extended periods in captivity, may exhibit quasi-domesticated behaviors, including docility, and what sometimes passes as loyalty (it is not uncommon for the polar squirrel who is treated as a dog to respond by becoming aggressively protective of it's master/mistress). However, when in a pack--which came sometimes number in the thousands--the wild polar squirrel represents the Arctic's deadliest predator and the its biggest threat to humans. As many an unfortunate hiker has stepped into safety from a blizzard only to find 7-8 polar squirrels attached to each ankle. 

Q: Really? That many on one ankle? Sounds absolutely terrifying.

A: It is. It is. In fact, Inuit legend tells of the dreaded 'Bogeynactum' or "night of one thousand black mouths" when a young warrior crested a snowdrift to behold only a field of snow white and a multitude of snarling black mouths that researchers believe to have belonged to a pack of polar squirrels. Their white fur makes them almost indistinguishable against the snowy landscape, but an incessant, high-pitched yap is a sure-fire giveaway that a polar squirrel attack is imminent. 

Q: So, if I'm getting this right, I should be prepared if hiking or exploring the Arctic to, possibly, come across polar squirrels? In the event that a civilian is attacked, what precautions or steps can he or she take?

A: I'm glad you asked! Some resourceful hikers advise that, if confronted by a pack of polar squirrels, a useful defense is to lure them away with alcohol from your pack. The very scent of alcohol and the polar squirrel can be distracted. However, new studies show that alcohol, while distracting to the polar squirrel, stimulates the urinary impulse, which brings rise to the question: Which is worse--to be devoured by a pack of polar squirrels or to die, slowly of hypothermia due to exposure to polar squirrel urine?"

Q: Thank you Dr. Frozenbrows. Please join us again next time for expert info with our expert scientists.

Dr. Freisenbern and a domesticated, yet deadly, polar squirrel

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