Squirrels and chipmunks look so much alike that it’s easy to mistake them. But look closely and you’ll see the differences: chipmunks are smaller than squirrels, have stripes on their heads and shorter tails. They also make different sounds. Chipmunks, squirrels, groundhogs, and prairie dog mice are all members of the squirrel family. But over millions of years of evolution, to adapt to different environments, squirrels and chipmunks became very different animals. This critter can be found everywhere in the United States. College campuses, especially those dotted with old trees, are their favorite. These animals are usually considered cute and sometimes annoying. Once you get to know them, it is easy to tell them apart. They are squirrels and chipmunks.
Chipmunk vs. Squirrel：what’s a squirrel?
Squirrels are small rodents that belong to the squirrel family. There are three types of squirrels: tree squirrels, ground squirrels, and flying squirrels. It has no stripes on its back, except for the ground squirrel, which has stripes but only on its back. Squirrels live in parks and woodlands. Squirrels are mainly found living in tree holes. They do not store any food for the winter. They hibernate during this time and do not need to store food. Squirrels are good herbivores. They feed on small plants, nuts and seeds. There are more than 200 species of squirrels on Earth. Squirrels have four incisors and seem to grow about 6 inches each year. The tree squirrel always tends to live alone, except in winter, when it joins the nests of others. It chews its food with its teeth; an average squirrel needs about a pound of food a week. Squirrels are susceptible to attack by other predators, which can quickly lead to their death. They are really smart about protecting themselves. They tend to eat the skin of rattlesnakes and chew them to get snake perfume to keep themselves safe from scent-dependent hunting animals.
Chipmunk vs. Squirrel：what is a chipmunk?
The chipmunk is a small rodent belonging to the squirrel family. The chipmunk is easy to spot; it has stripes from its back to its head. They are tiny creatures that can live up to 4 to 8 years in captivity. Chipmunks live in burrows underground. That said, they also live in parks and woodlands. They eat almost anything tiny and consumable they come across. Zoologists claim they eat nuts and seeds; in addition to that, they eat small eggs, snakes, and occasionally small birds. Chipmunks are responsible animals who gather and store food for the winter. The holes in the ground are mostly complex tunnel structures with caches, especially for storing food. Chipmunks are considered diurnal, which means they sleep more than 15 hours a day. They are the smallest of the squirrel family, but can dig burrows up to 4 meters deep. And chipmunks are not gregarious, they only interact during mating season. Their mating season is in the spring. Chipmunks hibernate, and when they do, their heart rate decreases from 350 beats per minute to 4 beats per minute.
Chipmunk vs. Squirrel ：Basic Appearance
Squirrels come in a variety of colors, from black, to gray, to red, to brown. There are even rare albino squirrels. The squirrel’s most distinctive feature is its large tail, which is almost twice as long as the animal’s. They have powerful hind legs that are longer than their front legs. Their eyes are large and placed on either side of the head, and their ears are correspondingly large and stand straight up. Chipmunks can be identified by their distinctive coloring and stripe pattern. The body of the chipmunk is a warm brown color. Its back has alternating black and white stripes. Chipmunks are generally smaller than squirrels. Their tails are quite short in comparison. The basic body shape of the chipmunk is the same as that of the squirrel. Many of these similarities come from the fact that both chipmunks and squirrels belong to the squirrel family.
Chipmunk vs. Squirrel ：Habitat
Squirrels can be found in North America, Europe, Asia, and even some parts of Africa. They range from the typical eastern gray squirrel, which is most common in the United States, to the smaller red and black squirrels found in other parts of the world. They usually prefer environments with lots of trees, but squirrels have adapted to marginal and urban life. Chipmunks are found primarily in North America. One species is also found in northeastern Asia. Chipmunks also prefer to live in forests, but can be found in suburban or urban areas with trees.
Chipmunk vs. Squirrel ：Diet
The squirrel cannot eat grass or other fiber-rich foods. It prefers nuts, seeds, fungi and legumes. Squirrels are also known to eat insects and even small vertebrates if they are really hungry. Chipmunks are also omnivores, eating nuts, greens, eggs, insects and fungi.