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March 5, 1898

Eunuchism of Squirrels.

JAMA. 1898;XXX(10):566. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.02440620054018

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Ellicott City, Md., Feb. 25, 1898.

To the Editor:  —The theory has been advanced by many hunters I have met that during the absence of the mother squirrel, the young utilize the male appendages as teats and in their kind effort to produce something that is not there, cause in time an atrophy of the organs. Personally, though I have killed many squirrels, I have never seen a male minus his testicles, due, probably to the fact that I have never searched specimens for their presence or absence, save as I skinned them for use on the table. I very much doubt the theory of the older males castrating the younger ones; there is no reason why this should be done, and betrays more sense than the animal's gray matter or habits would warrant. A study of the incisor teeth of the squirrel would also suggest a difficulty in performing

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