Thursday, August 19, 2010

Today's Trivia - Chipmunks

Today it’s all about chipmunks; those small and lively critters that scurry around our gardens...

Here we go...

- Chipmunks are small members of the squirrel family.

- They live 2-3 years in the wild, and 5-8 years in captivity.

- The eastern chipmunk has two fewer grinding teeth than other chipmunks.

- Chipmunks take an average of 75 breaths a minute.

- A chipmunk can carry nine nuts at a time.

- The eastern chipmunk is larger than most of the western species.

- Chipmunks are solitary animals but they will socialize during the breeding season and while rearing young.


- Chipmunks eat insects, snails, nuts, berries, seeds, fruit and grain.

- Eastern chipmunks mate two times a year, during early spring and again during the summer or early fall.

- There is a 31-day gestation period and two to five young are born in April–May and again in August–October. The young are sexually mature within 1 year.

- The chipmunk is a ground dwelling mammal. It constructs burrows which can be up to 30 feet in length.

- Eastern chipmunks spend a lot of time gathering and storing food for the winter.

- A chipmunk’s predators include: foxes, weasels, badgers, bobcats and snakes.

- There are about 20 species of western chipmunks and one species of eastern chipmunk in USA and Canada.

- They can be found in woodlands, forest edges, bushes, gardens, parks, around houses or cemeteries.

- The largest chipmunk is the eastern chipmunk, which grows up to 11 inches and weighs as much as 4.4 ounces. The smallest chipmunk is the least chipmunk, which grows up to 8.5 inches and weighs up to 1.8 ounces.

- The home range of a chipmunk may be up to 1/2 acre (0.2 ha), but the adult only defends a territory about 50 feet (15.2 m) around the burrow entrance.

- Chipmunks are most active during the early morning and late afternoon.


- Although chipmunks hibernate, they do not store fat. Instead they slowly gnaw away at their summer bounty throughout the winter.

- Some chipmunks become active on warm, sunny days during the winter.

- Most chipmunks emerge from hibernation in early March.

- 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.

- Their shrill, repeated, birdlike chirp is usually made upon sensing a threat but is also thought to be used as a mating call by females.

- For the most part, chipmunks, although susceptible to forest fragmentation, are not currently threatened.

And...

...they are adorable!


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