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Chipmunk


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Chipmunks are rodents that live in forests, open woodlands, and brushy areas in North America and Asia. There are about 17 different species of chipmunks. Chipmunks hibernate during the cold winter months. These small mammals have a life span of about 2 to 3 years in the wild.

Burrows: Many chipmunks dig extensive burrows which can be over 11 ft (3.5 m) long. These burrows often have more than one entrance and have extra chambers in which chipmunks store their extensive winter food. Some chipmunks make nests in logs or in bushes.

Anatomy: Chipmunks are only about 4-7 inches (10-18 cm) long; their long, bushy tail is from 3-5 inches (8-13 cm) long. They weigh roughly 1 to 5 ounces (28 to 142 gm). Chipmunks have gray-brown fur, with dark and light stripes along the back and with a light-colored belly. The eyes are surrounded by white fur, and there are dark brown stripes on the face (the markings vary among the various chipmunk species). Chipmunks have cheek pouches in which they carry food to store in their burrows.

Diet: Chipmunks eat seeds, nuts, grains, and fruit. They also occasionally eat insects.

Predators: Chipmunks are hunted by many animals, including weasels, hawks, snakes, foxes, and house cats.

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