Linzey, Donald W. Wytheville Community College, Wytheville, Virginia.
Last reviewed:June 2021
- Eastern chipmunk
- Habitat and hibernation
- Reproduction and development
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The common name for any of 25 species of rodents in the mammalian family Sciuridae. Chipmunks are assigned to three different genera within the mammalian family Sciuridae: Tamias, with 1 species; Eutamias, with 1 species; and Neotamias, with 23 species. Some classifications, though, assign all species to Tamias, with Eutamias and Neotamias being subgenera. In terms of appearance, chipmunks have bright and dark stripes, and large cheek pouches. These rodents live mainly on the ground. Chipmunks are found primarily in forested areas in many regions of North America, including south to west-central Mexico, as well as in Siberia, Mongolia, and northern and central China. The two species with the widest distribution in North America are the eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) [see illustration] and the least chipmunk (Neotamias minimus). For the most part, the appearance and ecology of all 25 species are similar. See also: Mammalia; Rodentia; Squirrel
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