Chipmunks Vs Squirrels

Squirrel Vs Chipmunk, both are members of the family Sciuridae. The Sciuridae family includes all small and medium-sized rodents. There are then further subspecies, both of them. The squirrels family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, and flying squirrels. Then further, there are more subspecies of each of them. Chipmunks are also included in subspecies of ground squirrels. In this article, we will discuss all queries about chipmunks and squirrels that how different they are from each other. These rodents almost look similar, but there are also several differences between them, which we will explain in more detail. First of all, we will explain a little about these two.

Squirrel Vs Chipmunk Difference Between

Squirrels

In a Squirrel Vs Chipmunk comparison, one will find that chipmunks have distinct stripe patterns on their backs and faces. Squirrels are little rodents from the Sciuridae family; except in Australia and Antarctica, they are found all over the world. There are many subspecies of squirrels, and if we talk about the total species and subspecies of them, then it will be approximately 200. People think squirrels only inhabit forest areas and live on trees, but they also inhabit urban and suburban areas and mostly spend their time on trees.

Basics of Squirrels (Chipmunks Vs. Squirrels)

Chipmunks

Chipmunks are also small rodents, and both are of the same family. They spent most of their time foraging. Chipmunks are small compared to squirrels in the Sciuridae family. There are approximately 25 species of chipmunks, of which four are found in North America. They are great climbers and swimmers and inhabit alpine forests, mountains, and shrubby deserts. These small rodents also live in tunnels and chambers.

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So this was the basic intro to squirrels and chipmunks. We will discuss further more differences between them. When discussing “Squirrel Vs Chipmunk” habits, squirrels are often observed scampering up trees, while chipmunks are frequently seen scurrying on the ground or among rocks.

Basics of Chipmunks (Chipmunks Vs. Squirrels)

Squirrel Vs Chipmunk: Species Comparison

Squirrels

There are more than 200 subspecies of squirrels in the Sciuridae family, but these three are the main of them:

  1. Tree Squirrel: The largest squirrel specie of the Sciuridae family. There are further subspecies of tree squirrels. They can grow up to 12-20 inches in length and weigh up to 1.5 pounds. Tree squirrels are also known for their long bushy tails.
  2. Ground Squirrel: They look similar to chipmunks, and people have trouble knowing whether it’s a squirrel or a chipmunk, but when they see the stripes on their heads, they know it’s a squirrel. Ground squirrels are known for their specialty of rising on hind legs. They can grow up to 12- 20 inches in length and weigh between 20-30 ounces. Foraging near their burrows is their natural habit, due to which it is not difficult to identify them.
  3. Flying Squirrel: One of the squirrel specie which can glide up to 150 feet at 60 feet of height or more. They are mostly agile at night and look for food. Flying squirrels differ from the other two due to their flying ability. The southern flying squirrels can grow up to 8-10 inches in length with a weight of 1.5 to 2.5 ounces. On the other hand, the northern flying squirrels can grow up to 9.5 to 11.5 inches in length with a weight of 2 to 4.5 ounces.
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Chipmunks

There are around 25 species of chipmunks having three family genera (Tamias, Neotamias, and Eutamias).

  1. Tamias: There is only one specie of the Tamias genus, the eastern chipmunks found all over the eastern United States. They inhabit forests, shrubs, and urban and suburban areas. Mostly they are seen in forests and woodlots, where they often forage. They can grow up to 8-12 inches in length with a weight of 2-5 ounces. Eastern chipmunks have dark tails and have four toes on the front feet and five on the back feet. They gather the food and store it in their pouches inside their cheeks, and a little chipmunk can collect up to 165 acorns a day.
  2. Neotamias: There are 23 species of Neotamias, most of which are found in western North America. 
  3. Eutamias: The genus of chipmunks with a single living specie, the Siberian chipmunk. It is the common chipmunk species in northern Asia, Japan, Russia, Korea, China, and Hokkaido. They can survive in every habitat, mostly inhabiting coniferous forests, shrubs, agricultural lands, and mountains. Siberian chipmunks can grow up to 7-10 inches in length with a weight of 1.5 to 5.5 oz.

Squirrel Vs Chipmunk Differences:

Habitat:

Chipmunks Squirrels
Chipmunks prefer to live in forests, deserts, meadows, and mountains. They dig burrows like tunnels where they raise their babies while keeping them safe from predators. are mostly found in urban and suburban areas. They can also be seen in social areas such as parks, playgrounds, and among people. Squirrels build their nests on trees and raise their babies in the same nest.

Squirrel Vs Chipmunk

Appearance:

Chipmunks Squirrels
Chipmunks have reddish-brown body colors and white and black slashes on their back and sides. They have short but dense fur. have slender bodies with bushy tails and large eyes. They have short but smoother fur of brown or gray color whose size depends upon the type of species. And they don’t have slashes on their bodies like chipmunks.

Size and Weight:

Chipmunks Squirrels
Chipmunks are smaller than squirrels and can measure up to 5 inches long. They have a long tail of around 5 inches long. The weight of chipmunks varies on species, but typically they can reach up to 125 grams. are bigger than chipmunks in size. An adult squirrel can reach up to 15 inches long with a tail that can reach up to 6 inches long. The weight of squirrels also varies on species, but typically they can reach up to 1.5 pounds.

Diet:

Chipmunks Squirrels
Chipmunks store their food in their pouches. They eat nuts, seeds, berries, grains, lizards, vegetables, and small insects. Chipmunks also eat flowers and leaves of different plants. Their diet includes a variety of different things. They can eat everything from vegetables to sweets. Nuts, acorns, and seeds are the favorite diet of squirrels. Squirrels also eat different fruits. High-protein food is also included in their diets, such as insects, birds, eggs, bugs, and young snakes.

Lifespan:

Chipmunks Squirrels
Chipmunks’ lifespan varies for different species. The lifespan of the eastern chipmunk is around three years, while the Siberian chipmunk can live up to 10 years. But there are many predators of chipmunks that do not allow them to survive for long. can have more lifespans than chipmunks. An adult squirrel can live up to 6 years, but they can have an expectancy to live 12 years. Generally, tree squirrels live more than any other squirrel species because they can easily escape from predators while climbing on trees to keep themselves safe.

How Long Do Squirrels Live?

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Hibernation:

Chipmunks Squirrels
hibernate in winter, spend most of their time sleeping in their dens, and spend some time looking for food. don’t hibernate. They don’t spend time sleeping, but they search for and store food.

Distribution:

Chipmunks Squirrels
There are around 25 species of chipmunks. They are found in North America and from Canada to Mexico. The Siberian chipmunk is the only specie that lives in Asia and Europe. There are more than 200 species of squirrels that are distributed all over the world except Australia and Antarctica. 

So, that’s all that was the main difference between squirrels and chipmunks that we discussed.

FAQs

1- Can a squirrel mate with a chipmunk?

No, a squirrel can’t mate with a chipmunk, but they can mate with other species in their family.

2- Do squirrels and chipmunks interact with each other?

Not they don’t interact with each other. In fact, they are from the same family, but they don’t get interested in each other.

3- Is a chipmunk called a ground squirrel?

No, that’s a false rumor. However, some people find it difficult to distinguish between them, but actually, they are different rodents.

4- Can squirrels fight with chipmunks?

Not usually, but sometimes red squirrels will fight for food with chipmunks.  

5- What are the natural predators of chipmunks?

There are so many predators of chipmunks, including owls, snakes, cats, dogs, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, bobcats, weasels, and many more.

Conclusion

Squirrel Vs Chipmunk, both are members of the same family. But they are somehow different in appearance, size, and lifespan. Each species of them have further subspecies. So it cannot be said that there is no difference between them, but there is a difference between them.

So, everything is explained about Squirrel Vs Chipmunk. The main and common differences have been explained in this article. After reading this article, you will not get confused while recognizing a squirrel and chipmunks.

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