Hello, curious young minds! Today, we’re taking an exciting trip to explore the difference between two adorable animals that scamper in our backyards, parks, and other public places: chipmunks. They’re full of energy and appear to be always in a hurry. But did you realize that they’re different? Take a look at the difference between chipmunk and squirrel.
Meet the Chipmunk
Small rodents with distinctive stripes, the chipmunk is a common species. The rodents are typically 5 to 6 inches (12 to 15 centimeters), but their bushy tufts of hair can add up to another 3 to four inches (7 to 10 centimeters). These chipmunks feature three dark stripes down their backs. White or light-colored strips are placed in between. They look like racing stripes with these stripes.
Often, chipmunks live in forests, parks, and gardens. They love to dig burrows, which creates a cozy underground house where they rest and store their food for winter. These caves are usually hidden underneath rocks, logs, roots, or trees.
These little creatures eat both plants and insects. Chipmunks enjoy eating acorns: seeds, berries, nuts, and even caterpillars and worms. The chipmunks are very good at gathering and storing food.
Chipmunks, also known as ‘chipmunks,’ are renowned for their agility and speed. They dart quickly in and out from bushes and tree branches. They are also well-known for their cheek bags, which carry food to their burrows. These cheek pouches have a capacity of three times that of their heads.
Chipmunks make a high-pitched “chip, chip, chip” noise. They make this noise to communicate among themselves and warn others of danger.
Now, Say Hello to the Squirrel
Squirrels grow slightly bigger than the chipmunk, with a length between 8 and 12 inches (20-30 centimeters), not including their long tails. Tails can even be longer than their bodies. In contrast to chipmunks and other animals, squirrels tend to have a uniform color. Depending on their species, these colors can range from gray to red or brown.
Squirrels have great adaptability and can be found anywhere, including your backyard. They build nests (called dreys) high up in the trees. These nests are a safe place from predators. They also keep them warm through the winter.
Squirrels prefer to eat plant material. Nuts and seeds are their favorite snacks, fruits, tree bark, and seeds. Perhaps you’ve even seen squirrels nibbling birdseed in your backyard birdfeeder!
Squirrels are great climbers, and they can climb up trees quickly. It is known for its incredible agility. They leap from branch and branch in daring jumps. Like chipmunks, they don’t store food inside their cheeks. Instead, they bury them in the ground and retrieve them later. They are also less sly than chipmunks. You can often see them running and playing right in front of you.
There are so many wonderful creatures in the world. Chipmunks or squirrels represent just two of them. A closer look will reveal their differences.
If you ever see a small striped critter running across the forest floor, you know it’s probably a scavenger chipmunk. A squirrel will be a quick acrobat, leaping from tree-to-tree, as it prepares for the changing seasons.
Remember that all of these creatures are essential to our ecosystems. This includes helping to disperse the seeds and providing food for predators. If you see chipmunks on the ground or squirrels flying around, take time to observe the diverse life in our world and all the wonders nature has created. Happy exploring, young nature enthusiasts!