The animal on the cover of Spring Data is the giant squirrel (genus Ratufa), which is the largest squirrel in the world. These squirrels are found throughout tropical Asiatic forests and have a conspicuous two-toned color scheme with a distinctive white spot between the ears. Adult head and body length varies around 14 inches and the tail length is approximately 2 feet. Their ears are round and they have pronounced paws used for gripping.
A healthy adult weighs in at around four and a half pounds. With their tan, rust, brown, or beige coloring, they are possibly the most colorful of the 280 squirrel species. They are herbivorous, surviving on flowers, fruits, eggs, insects, and even bark.
The giant squirrel is an upper-canopy dwelling species, which rarely leaves the trees, and requires high branches for the construction of nests. It travels from tree to tree with jumps of up to 20 feet. When in danger, the giant squirrel often freezes or flattens itself against the tree trunk, instead of fleeing. Its main predators are birds of prey and leopards. The giant squirrel is mostly active in the early hours of the morning and in the evening, resting in the midday. It is a shy, wary animal and not easy to discover.