ABOVE: Whitehead’s Pigmy Squirrel Exilisciurus whiteheadi illustrated by John Whitehead from Whitehead’s (1893) The Exploration of Kina Balu. Note that the posture and shape are completely wrong !
The first specimen was collected by Whitehead’s cook at their camp next to the Panataran River at c.1,000m on the western slopes of Kinabalu.
Pg 117. “ The Chinaman ( Whitehead’s cook) in our absence shot a beautiful pigmy squirrel (Exilisciurus whiteheadi). This is an extraordinary little animal, being about the size of a large mouse, with a head too large for its body; The ears are ornamented with long tufts of grey fur, the rest of the animal being brownish yellow. I several times noticed this squirrel in trees close to the camp; it was somewhat inclined to be crepuscular but is also active during the day. At evening time it utters many shrill squeaks, and bobs about of the trees like a cork on a string.
Pg 181 “”The pigmy squirrel with ear-tufts is common here, and I am often able to approach within a few yards of it. It travels over the trunks of the larger forest trees somewhat after the manner of a woodpecker, the tail being pressed against the tree and the hind legs sprawled out on either side of the stomach on the bark, while the front legs and fore part of the body are kept well off the tree; in this way the little animal proceeds in short jerks over the large trunks, feeding on the bark which is sometimes much gnawn away; the ears are generally held erect: the squirrel every now and again utters a shrill whistle.
Note: Banks (1934) collected one male and four females at 7,000 feet (2,000m) on his 1934 expedition to Gunung Mulu. This squirrel has now been collected from most of the Bornean mountains above 1,000m.