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Chipmunks: Natural Science

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What are Chipmunks?

 

Lively and speedy critters, chipmunks are small members of the squirrel family. Their pudgy cheeks, large, glossy eyes, stripes, and bushy tails have made them a favorite among animators, and landed them a series of starring roles in Hollywood.

Of the 25 species of chipmunks, all but one, Asia’s Eutamias sibiricus, is found in North America. Ranging from Canada to Mexico, they are generally seen scampering through the undergrowth of a variety of environments from alpine forests to shrubby deserts. Some dig burrows to live in, complete with tunnels and chambers, while others make their homes in nests, bushes, or logs.

Depending on species, chipmunks can be gray to reddish-brown in color with contrasting dark and light stripes on the sides of their face and across their back and tail. They range in size from the least chipmunk, which, at 7.2 to 8.5 inches and 1.1 to 1.8 ounces, is the smallest chipmunk, to the eastern chipmunk, which grows up to 11 inches and weighs as much as 4.4 ounces.

(Continue Reading from National Geographic)

Learn More about Chipmunks

 

Books and Movies about Chipmunks

 

Chipmunks make various sounds to communicate. There are three recognized chipmunk calls, according to the NWF. The three calls are called the chip, the deeper chuck and the startle call. (Continue Reading from Live Science)

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