chipmunk

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chipmunk,

rodent of the family Sciuridae (squirrelsquirrel,
name for small or medium-sized rodents of the family Sciuridae, found throughout the world except in Australia, Madagascar, and the polar regions; it is applied especially to the tree-living species.
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 family). The chipmunk of the E United States and SE Canada is of the genus Tamias. The body of the common Eastern chipmunk, Tamias striatus, is about 5 to 6 in. (13–15 cm) long; the upper parts are reddish brown or grayish brown with a median black stripe and two black stripes separated by a whitish band along each side. The tail, 4 to 5 in. (10–13 cm) long, is hairy and flattened. Food is transported in the expansible cheek pouches. Chipmunks make underground burrows, often with concealed entrances beneath stone walls or trees. Although chipmunks are usually found near the ground, they are excellent climbers. In its northern range the chipmunk goes underground about the end of October but sleeps deeply only during the coldest period. Food for the winter is stored in the burrow. Chipmunks eat nuts, seeds, berries, and insects. Although they are numerous, these animals are not serious threats to crops. The typical life span is 5 years. The chipmunks of W North America belong, like those of E Asia, to the genus Eutamias. Chipmunks are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Rodentia, family Sciuridae.

chipmunk

[′chip‚məŋk]
(vertebrate zoology)
The common name for 18 species of rodents belonging to the tribe Marmotini in the family Sciuridae.

chipmunk

any burrowing sciurine rodent of the genera Tamias of E North America and Eutamias of W North America and Asia, typically having black-striped yellowish fur and cheek pouches for storing food