Friday, April 27, 2012

A Chipmunk With A Huge Appetite

Well, here he is again...my favourite critter. With the amount of food he consumes in my backyard alone, he won’t be able to squeeze into his home by the end of summer.




Where does he put it all?

Chipmunks have cheek pouches, which allow them to carry multiple food items to their burrows for either storage or consumption. Considering that this little one is getting to be a little chunky, I’d say that a lot of this food is being consumed!




I found this on a website. It describes perfectly the process a chipmunk uses when it finds food.

"When preparing food for storage, the chipmunk holds fruit and seeds in its dexterous front paws, and with specialized incisors, which are especially long and directed forward, it removes seeds from pods. Then it uses its tongue to shift them backwards and stuff them between its teeth and the extensible skin in the cheek area, where they are held while the animal collects more food. The capacity of these cheek pouches increases with maturity. When the cheek pouches become full, the chipmunk deposits the seeds in its nest or buries them in shallow holes that it digs in the ground and then covers with earth, leaves, and other litter."




Chipmunks belong to the genus Tamias. Tamias is Greek for "storer," a reference to the animals' habit of collecting and storing food for winter use.


"So...what's for dessert?"

The common name originally may have been spelled "chitmunk," from the native Odawa (Ottawa) word jidmoonh, meaning "red squirrel" (cf.

Other early forms include "chipmuck" and "chipminck," and in the 1830s they were also referred to as "chip squirrels," probably in reference to the sound they make. Chipmunks have also been referred to as "striped squirrels," "chippers," "munks," "timber tigers," or "ground squirrels,".

Personally, I like Mr. Inski. *smile*


How Many Nuts Can a Chipmunk Stuff into His Cheeks? Find out in this video...



12 comments:

  1. That video is so funny and your photos are wonderful, like watching someone develop a bad case of the mumps! They are amazing little animals!

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    1. They are adorable. And very entertaining to watch.

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  2. He's quite the little character isn't he? Your photos have captured him brilliantly! He's using his own cheek pouches to the max.

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    1. Sometimes I can't believe how huge his cheeks get. It's so funny.

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  3. I can't believe how humongous his cheeks get! He really stuffs it in!!

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  4. He's so CUTE!!! I love little chip-a-munkas. That sweet little pink tongue and the little pink mouth with all that seed stuffed into his mouth. They're so adorable and so fast. :D The video was terrific and I'm going to have to email that one out and share it with folks.

    Hope you're having a beautiful day today,
    Bird

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    1. Hope you are having a beautiful weekend! This little critter is my favourite. He's just so darn cute.

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  5. Hilarious, Martha! Does he/she realize that there are two eyes right behind him that belong to this big green thing!? lol He is very preoccupied!

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  6. Ha ha...he is way too preoccupied. The mouth on that big thing could open up and swallow him whole, and he wouldn't notice. He's too busy stuffing his cheeks!

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  7. Rofl, in that last picture it looks like he burped after a full meal.

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