image catesbyrs vol274
Image number: RS.18818
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Eastern gray squirrel




Mark Catesby (1683-1749, British), Naturalist

Object type

Library reference






Zoological study of an Eastern gray squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis, referred to here as Sciurus Virginianus cinereus major, shown in left profile, between the stem and flowers [left] and root [right] of a Florida dollar orchid Prosthechea boothiana specimen.

Signed and inscribed: 'Viscum Sciurus'

Written in the associated description: 'These Squirrels are as large as an half grown Rabbit, the whole Structure of their Bodies and Limbs, thicker in Proportion, and of a grosser and more clumsy Make than our common Squirrels.'

Plate 74 from volume II of Mark Catesby’s The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (London, 1731).

Mark Catesby (1683-1749), British naturalist was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1733. Travelling under the auspices of the Royal Society, Catesby recorded the earliest western scientific descriptions of the flora and fauna of the ‘New World’. He was the first naturalist to use folio-sized colour plates in a natural history book, and etched the copper plates himself before hand-colouring each individual print with watercolours.

Associated place

<The World>
   > North America
      > United States
<The World>
   > North America
      > Bahamas