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Name: UnnamedBirthday: 06-20-2012
Type: Eastern Chipmunk
Quick and lively creatures, chipmunks are small members of the squirrel family. Their pudgy cheeks, large shining eyes, "racing" stripes, and graceful tails have made them a favorite among animators, and landed them a series of starring roles in Hollywood. Of the 25 known species of chipmunks, all but one, Asia's Tamias sibiricus, are found in North America. The Eastern Chipmunk, along with the Least, are the smallest of the chipmunk family. While not social with their own species, Eastern Chipmunks cheerfully coexist with humans and can be tamed as pets. An interesting biological oddity is the fact that they have an extra set of incisors (front teeth).
Ranging from Canada to Mexico, Eastern Chipmunks are generally seen scampering through the undergrowth of a variety of environments from alpine forests to shrubby deserts to suburban back yards. Some dig burrows to live in, complete with tunnels and chambers, while others make their homes in nests, bushes, or logs. Chipmunks generally gather food on the ground in areas with underbrush, rocks, and logs, where they can hide from predators like hawks, foxes, coyotes, weasels, and snakes. They feed on insects, nuts, berries, seeds, fruit, and grains, which they stuff into their generous cheek pouches and carry to their burrow or nest to store. Chipmunks do not truly hibernate, but go into a very deep sleep from which they rouse periodically to dip into their caches of nuts and seeds throughout the winter.
For the most part, New World chipmunks, although susceptible to forest fragmentation, are not currently threatened. As their agricultural depredations are minor, and they do not have their larger cousin the squirrel's destructive habits if they gain entry to a human dwelling, they have never been considered a pest species in the United States.