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The squirrel was hunted in the middle ages for its fur and probably as food too. Squirrels are found early on in English heraldry. They are portrayed as somewhat demonic as compared to our modern vision of the bushy-tailed woodland creature. A heraldic squirrel often has spiky fur, red eyes, and an angry expression. They are sometimes found holding an acorn. Squirrel pelts are also immortalized in heraldry as the field treatment vair.

Squirrel fur was used to make fine paintbrushes in period and are still used to make modern fine paintbrushes for painting.