Fun Facts About Chipmunks, From Where They Live to What They Eat and More
Nature is comprised of an extremely large variety of different animal species ranging from the smallest of microorganisms such as plankton to the largest of mammals like lions and whales. Chipmunks lie somewhere in the middle of this large spectrum, their way of life and overall look has created quite a popular standard for their species, a creature that is so cute and loved it has even been produced into a worldwide movie series and national chipmunk day is celebrated annually. The truth is there are many interesting facts about chipmunks that don’t quite make it to the surface of the media and remain a mystery to pretty much all of us. However, chipmunk information is so important to know in order to grasp a better idea of the species as a whole. In this article, I’m going to be sharing all the fun facts about chipmunks as well as answering the most asked questions when it comes to the tiny but mighty species.
How Many Chipmunks Are There in the World?
Before we get o answering all your most asked chipmunk questions let’s have a brief overview of the species in general. There are about 25 different species of chipmunks living in our world which all bar one is found in North America, from the forests in Canada to the heart of Mexico City. These little guys, relative to the size of a teacup can be seen running swiftly from one side of the city to the other, scavenging for food as they go. Chipmunks burrow and most commonly live in tunnels that they have build underground where they set up a pretty complicated structure with a whole chamber system that simply only they can understand.
The Most Asked Chipmunks Questions
To expand your chipmunk knowledge even more here are some answers to the world’s most asked questions when it comes to this little species.
Where Do Chipmunks Live?
The chipmunk nest and home base are created in complex tunnels and chambers that they build underground. So do chipmunks live underground entirely then? While they spend o a lot of their time in their self-created underground home they are not entirely restricted to just that area of land, instead, they branch out often going hunting and gathering for their for and nest supplies.
How Many Chipmunks Live Together?
Chipmunks actually live in relatively small colonies, in an almost family-like structure as they all share and contribute to the building of the complex burrow system they choose to reside in. Usually, there are about 8-10 chipmunks found in each of these colonies and they are not necessarily all from the same species of a chipmunk as they don’t mind interacting with the teacher.
What Do Chipmunks Eat, and What Do Chipmunks Drink?
Chipmunks are actually really not fussy when it comes to the food they eat, they eat a wide range of different types of nuts, fruits, and berries, taking bites of things as they go along their journey. Chipmunks have even been spotted eating through logs, sticks, acorns, and seeds as much as the squirrel species they have four front teeth that never stop growing.
How Long Do Chipmunks Live?
The chipmunk lifespan is unfortunately not very long at all, with most of them only living an average of three years in the wild and about eight in captivity. This is due to many uncontrollable things but lucky their breeding schedule is frequent enough to keep the population consistently expanding.
Where Do Chipmunks Go In the Winter?
So are chipmunks nocturnal and do chipmunks hibernate in the winter? Yes, chipmunks are advent hibernators meaning they spend most of the winter months in their tunnels underground, sleeping and protecting themselves from the harsh weather conditions of the outside. While they are not as intense hibernators as most, they tend to awaken and occasionally nipple on some nuts, they do in fact seem to do disappear for a pat of the year. They spend most of the rest of their year preparing for the next hibernation period by gathering food for storage and equipment that helps them build their nests and burrows.
Chipmunks are extremely cute and adorable little creatures but for those that live abroad, it can be confusing to create a full picture of what they may look like. So how big is a chipmunk? Chipmunks range in size depending on their species and breed however all are relatively small. So how big do chipmunks get? Anywhere between 11-24 cm chipmunks are around the size of a teacup or mug and mostly fit into the palm of a human hand. Do Chipmunks have tails? A chipmunk’s tail is actually a key part of its characteristics, the most commonly have a short bussy tail that sticks up when they run, however many chipmunks lose their tail, or part of their tail throughout their lifetime, but likely they are powerful enough and it grows back eventually!
Are Chipmunks Rodents?
It is really common for people to ask “are chipmunks dangerous ?” and this is largely due to the fact that they are considered to be a rodent just like rats and mice, however, the chipmunk is more closely related to a squirrel than any kind of rat you may be thinking about. Saying this while they are not extremely dangerous to us as humans they do carry some diseases that could potentially be harmful to us, hence why we see them in the parks and not keep them as pets in our homes. They are not necessarily harmful creatures and will not attack unless they are threatened.
What Is a Baby Chipmunk Called?
So between the hibernation period and the constant scavenging for food when do chipmunks have babies? Breeding is actually an extremely important part of the chipmunk lifestyle and they usually give birth to a litter of about 2-5 little chipmunks. They are born hairless and blind after only a 31-day gestation period after chipmunk mating. This period happens twice a year both in April/May and July/August. Baby chipmunks are very protected by their mothers and only beginning setting out of the barrow at about 6 weeks old. Baby chipmunks known as kits, kittens, or pups are practically helpless when they are born and learn all necessary skills from their mothers who are extremely protective of their every move until they are stable enough to continue on their own.
What Does Chipmunk Sound Like?
Chipmunks simply do not sound the way you would expect them to and one of the most asked questions is actually “why do chipmunks chirp ?” Chipmunks make a chirping noise that is often mistaken for bird tweeting, they are mostly high-pitched, and this is used when speaking to one another. However, when in danger or a predator is approaching the chipmunk adopts a slightly different sound, in a much lower pitch that sounds similar to a drumbeat they are able to warn their mates about possible threats.
Some More Interesting Facts About Chipmunks
If you thought that that was everything you could possibly need to know about the humble chipmunk family, you are wrong there are some more details about their lifestyles and behaviors that are important to know when it comes to chipmunks in general. Some more FQA’s include :
Do Chipmunks Climb Trees?
Chipmunks spend most of their time on the ground and prefer to hunt at a lower level, however, they can occasionally be seen climbing trees during the early morning and late afternoon. They leap from tree to tree looking for food such as berries and fruit, sometimes even nuts, and have the ability to fall and immediately get up again without getting injured due to their agile body structure.
How Fast Can a Chipmunk Run?
So how far do chipmunks travel? Chipmunks can travel at a speed of up to 21 miles an hour, which considering their tiny size is pretty fast if you ask me. Due to this chipmunks are actually known to travel relatively far distances between 5-10 miles at a time as they explore surrounding areas often in search of food or supplies for their burrow.
Do Chipmunks Store Food In Their Cheeks?
Yes just like hamsters and squirrels chipmunks store food in their cheeks to take home and store for later usage.
Do Chipmunks Eat Baby Birds?
So are chipmunks omnivores and are chipmunks mammals? Chipmunks are actually rodents and not mammals at all, while they mostly eat seeds, plants, and fruit they are actually considered to be omnivores and feed off of both animals and plants. Yes, small birds are on their radar which they often only take when dead, they also feed off mushrooms, worms, snails, frogs, flowers, nuts, and seeds.
As you can see chipmunks are fascinating creatures with lots to offer. We have now learned about the chipmunk’s enemies, answered questions like where do chipmunks nest, and many more interesting facts that can help you gain a better understanding of the species as a whole.
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