What is the difference between squirrel and chipmunk?
Squirrels and chipmunks share some characteristics but they are different from one another. Chipmunks are small striped squirrels native to North America and Asia. Squirrels are small mammals native to wooded and rocky areas with no stripes except the ground squirrels.
The main difference between squirrels and chipmunks is that squirrels are small but do not have stripes except the ground squirrels but not in the head while chipmunks are tiny mammals that have stripes in the back of the body till the head.
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Comparison Table (Squirrel vs Chipmunk)
|Stripes||They have no stripes apart from the ground squirrels which have stripes but not on the head.||They are small mammals with distinctive stripes from the head till back.|
|Varieties||There are three types; the tree squirrel, the ground, and the flying squirrel.||They are of many verities but with similar characteristics.|
|What they feed on||They feed on plants including nuts and seeds.||They feed on a variety of staff; nuts, seeds, berries, eggs, insects, and small snakes.|
|How they store their food||They go on hibernation during winter hence do not store food.||They store food for the winter season.|
|Habitat||They live in parklands, woodlands, and tree holes.||They live in burrows in the ground.|
|Communication||They squeak accompanied by flicks of tail.||They make a variety of calls including clucks.|
What is a Squirrel?
The squirrel is a small mammal that belongs to the family Sciuridae. There are various types of squirrels. The tree squirrel, the ground squirrel, and the flying squirrel. The ground squirrels have stripes but they do not appear on its head.
There are more than 200 species of squirrels. They have four front teeth which grow every year for around 6 inches. Tree species live alone except during the winter season when they join the rest of the squirrels in the nest. They use the teeth to bite food.
They live in woodlands, parklands, and tree holes. They do not store food instead they hibernate during the winter season. They majorly feed on plants. They eat plants, nuts, and seeds.
During mating, the females give out a strong scent which can be detected by the males. A female can mate with many males. After mating the males leave. The females then give birth to offspring after a gestation period of four weeks. At birth, the young ones are hairless, without teeth, and almost blind.
What is a Chipmunk?
They are small squirrels with stripes from the head to the back. They belong to the family Sciuridae. When in captivity, they live between 4 to 8 years. They live in burrows in the ground. They are of many varieties but they possess similar characteristics.
They are not social animals. They only interact during the mating season of which the males leave after they have mated with the females. The mating season is during the spring season. While in hibernation, their heartbeats reduce from 350 to 4 beats per minute.
They eat almost everything that comes their way. They feed on both plant matter and small animals hence they are considered omnivores. They are responsible creatures. They collect and store food to be used during the winter season. They dig burrows whereby they consider a storage place for their food. They dig burrows up to 4m deep and wide.
Main Differences between Squirrel and Chipmunk
- Squirrels do not have stripes except the ground squirrel which have stripes only on the back and not on the head while chipmunks have stripes from their head to the back.
- Squirrels are of three types while chipmunks are of many types with similar characteristics.
- Squirrels feed on plants including nuts and seeds while chipmunks feed on plant matter and also insects and small snakes.
- Squirrels go into hibernation during winter hence they do not store food while chipmunks collect and store food to be used during the winter season.
- Squirrels live in woodlands, parklands, and tree holes while chipmunk lives in burrows.
Similarities between Squirrel and Chipmunk
- They belong to the same family.
- They are both small in body size.
- They both feed on the plant; nuts and seeds
- Both are not social animals.
- Both produce sound while communicating.
Both squirrels and chipmunks are small animals in the family Sciuridae. The chipmunks have stripes from their head to the back while squirrels do not have stripes except the ground squirrels that have stripes but not on their heads. Squirrels live in woodlands, parklands, and in tree holes while chipmunks live in burrows. The main feature that makes squirrels different from chipmunks is the stripes.
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