How to Tell the Difference Between a Ground Squirrel and a Chipmunk
A ground squirrel and a chipmunk have many similar characteristics, including size, food habits, and hunting methods. Although chipmunks are much smaller than squirrels, they are difficult to spot when they get to seven inches in length. On the other hand, ground squirrels can grow to be twelve inches long. Read on to learn more about how to tell the difference. In this article, you will learn how to spot a ground squirrel by their size, stripes, and hibernation habits.
A common mistake made by people is to confuse stripes on a ground squirrel and a chipmunk. While both species are striped, the stripes on a ground squirrel are much less distinct. This is due to the fact that it lacks the orange sides that the Lodgepole Chipmunk has. It also lacks the dark outer stripe. It is found in the mountains of the eastern Sierra and Great Basin.
To make the difference between a ground squirrel and a chipmunk easier to recognize, learn to spot them by looking at their body markings. Both species have stripes that go from their head down to their bodies. This helps to distinguish them when they are in the wild. Ground squirrels are less active, and they often live in trees, while chipmunks are primarily found in open areas.
Richardson’s ground squirrels typically do not hibernate in a dedicated hibernaculum before the winter. Adult males and females are more likely to sleep in a sealed chamber during active season. During hibernation, adult ground squirrels and juvenile females often live in the same area. The hibernation site may be multipurpose or dedicated to one purpose.
In warm weather, chipmunks emerge from their burrows early in the winter. However, many questions about chipmunk hibernation remain. For example, does hibernation last all winter? No one knows for sure, but it is believed that the animals enter and exit their burrows at different times. This is because chipmunks do not enter a burrow in one day, but rather alternate between semi-active and active phases. During these semi-active periods, their body temperature and breathing rate slow.
The ground squirrel and chipmunk are cousins and share a similar habitat. Both are part of the rodent family, a subclass that includes ground hogs, chipmunks, and gophers. The ground squirrels primarily feed on seeds, nuts, and acorns. These animals also have many predators that depend on their prey. These animals are important to human conservation efforts because they provide valuable pollination services for plants and flowers.
Both ground squirrels and chipmunks are essential for the reproduction of many plants. They store food, rest, and reproduce by pollinating various plants. The chipmunks pollinate sunflowers and other plants by eating aphids and other insects. Chipmunks live on tree acorns and other plant seeds. When they are active, they pollinate the flowers and fruit of various plants and trees. The chipmunks are the primary pollinators of plants and trees, and their presence in a garden is a sign of good health.
The ground squirrel and chipmunk are both rodents with stripes on their bodies. Both ground squirrels and chipmunks range in length from six to twelve inches. While chipmunks are smaller than squirrels, the eastern species is up to ten inches long and weighs as much as one ounce. The difference between the two species lies in the stripes and how they alternate between tan and brown.
The Wyoming ground squirrel is the largest species of ground-squirrel. It measures about a foot in length and is mostly brown with a lighter belly. It lives in the middle elevations of Yellowstone National Park and prefers lodgepole pine habitat. It feeds on pine cones and leaves and prefers to live in damp environments. It has a two-1/2 to five-inch tail.
The two species of ground squirrels and chipmunks have very different habitats. Most species live in forests, and chipmunks can be found in a variety of environments, from sagebrush to coniferous forest. They are both capable of climbing trees, and the Allen’s chipmunk is especially adept at climbing. Both species have large cheek pouches that can be as big as half their body weight.
The two species of ground squirrels and chipmunks are members of the Marmotini family. Their evolutionary history dates back to the early to mid-Oligocene. Although fossil records for primitive marmots from North America are scarce, modern “true” ground squirrels are believed to have lived in their present-day ranges as early as the mid-Miocene.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.