Difference Between Chipmunk and Squirrel

Squirrels are a few tiny mammals that can be found anywhere, from urbanized locations to forests.


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They are considered harmless and known to feed on plants and nuts

Squirrels have their existence marked more than 35 million years ago on earth.

They belong to a family called Sciuridae, Which includes small and medium-sized rodents.

The origin of squirrels can be attributed to America, Eurasia, and Africa.

This gives information that squirrels are almost everywhere in the world humans introduced squirrels to Australia.

The squirrel family has wide varieties: Tree Squirrels, Ground Squirrels, Chipmunks, marmots, flying squirrels, and prairie dogs.

The appearance of Chipmunks and the squirrels-tree and ground is more or less similar.

Key Takeaways

  1. Chipmunks are smaller than squirrels, with distinctive striped markings, while squirrels are larger and usually have solid-colored fur.
  2. Chipmunks primarily burrow in the ground, creating complex tunnels, while squirrels are arboreal, making nests in trees.
  3. Both chipmunks and squirrels are members of the Sciuridae family, but chipmunks belong to the genus Tamias, while squirrels belong to various genera, including Sciurus and Tamiasciurus.

Chipmunk vs Squirrel

Chipmunks are smaller, have stripes on their backs, and are known for their distinctive chipmunk calls. Squirrels are also small but do not have distinct stripes, except for the ground squirrel, which has stripes but not on the head. Squirrels also hoard food and are known for their intelligence, while chipmunks are more solitary and primarily gather food for their winter stores.

Chipmunk vs Squirrel

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Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonChipmunkSquirrel
Spot on DifferenceChipmunks are small mammals in the Sciuridae family with distinctive stripes from the back to the head.Squirrels also belong to the Sciuridae family, which has no stripes, except for ground squirrels with stripes but not on the head.
Varieties/TypesChipmunks are of wide varieties. But all the categories have similar qualities.There are three types of squirrels one is tree squirrel, ground squirrel, and the last one is flying squirrel.
Food PatternChipmunks are found eating nuts and seeds. Not only that, but they also eat almost everything, berries, eggs of insects, and small snakes.Squirrels dwell on plants, including nuts and seeds
Storage of FoodChipmunks have the habit of storing food for the winter period.Squirrels hibernate during winter, so they do not need food storage.
HabitatChipmunks live in burrows in the groundSquirrels live in parklands, woodlands, and also in tree holes.


What is Chipmunk?

Chipmunks are small-sized rodents that belong to the Sciuridae family. The Chipmunks can be easily spotted; it has stripes from the back to the head.

They are tiny creatures that live up to 4 to 8 years in captivity.

Chipmunks usually live in burrows in the ground; having said that, they also live in parkland and woodlands.

Chipmunks eat almost everything that comes their way which is tiny and consumable.

Zoologists claim that they eat nuts and seeds; apart from that, they eat small eggs, snakes, and occasionally small birds.

Chipmunks are responsible creatures; They collect and store food for the winter period.

The burrows are mostly complicated tunnel structures with a storage place, especially for storing food.

Chipmunks are considered diurnal, meaning they sleep more than 15 hours daily.

They are the smallest in the squirrel family but can dig burrows up to 4 meters deep and wide.

Chipmunks are not social animals; They interact only during the mating season.

The mating season is in the spring. Chipmunks hibernate; while they do, their heartbeat reduces from 350 beats per minute to 4 beats per minute.

They are lovely to look t, and many have difficulty spotting which is a chipmunk and which is a squirrel.


What is Squirrel?

Squirrel is small-sized rodents that belong to the Sciuridae family. The squirrels are of three types: Tree squirrel, Ground Squirrel, and Flying Squirrel.

The squirrels do not have stripes on the back except the ground squirrel, which has stripes but only on the back.

Squirrels live in parklands and woodlands. It is mainly found that squirrels live in tree holes.

Squirrels do not store any food for winter. They hibernate during this period and do not need the necessity of storing food.

Squirrels are good plant-eaters. They dwell on small plants, nuts, and seeds.

There are more than 200 species of squirrels available on this earth. Squirrels have four front teeth, which seem to be growing every year for about 6 inches.

Tree squirrels always tend to live alone except in winter, when it joins others in their nest. It uses its teeth to bite food; an average squirrel requires a pound of food for a week.

Squirrels are prone to be attacked by other predators, which causes their death soon. They are indeed intelligent in this aspect of protecting themselves.

They tend to eat rattle snake’s skin and chew them to get the snake perfume to save themselves from smell-dependent hunting animals.


Main Differences Between Chipmunks and Squirrel

  1. The chipmunks have stripes on the back of it till the head, while the squirrels do not have stripes; the ground squirrel, of course, has stripes but not till the head.
  2. Chipmunks live in deep burrows under the ground. They make a very complex tunnel-like structure to protect and store food. The Squirrels live in tree holes.
  3. Chipmunks store food for the winter period, while the chipmunks do not; it hibernates during that period making it unnecessary to store food.
  4. Chipmunks’ eating habit is quite different from the squirrels; they eat nuts, seeds, small eggs of insects and birds, small snakes, and small birds occasionally, while the squirrels rely on plants, seeds, and nuts.
  5. Chipmunks have normal tails compared to squirrels with bushy tails.
Difference Between Chipmunk and Squirrel
  1. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/group/chipmunks/
  2. https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/10-things-you-dont-know-about-chipmunks
  3. https://www.livescience.com/28182-squirrels.html
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