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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

  Rodentia · Sciuridae · Tamias striatus

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Tamias striatus

Eastern Chipmunk

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae

Image of Tamias striatus
Click to enlarge this image. (74 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.


Eastern chipmunks are found in forests, but also in suburban gardens and city parks, as long as there are rocks, stumps, or fallen logs to provide perching sites and cover for burrow entrances. They dig complex burrows with many entrances and chambers as well as short escape tunnels, and each chipmunk defends a small area around its burrow, threatening, chasing, and even fighting with a neighbor who invades the space. The chipmunks spend the winter underground, but venture to the surface occasionally on mild, sunny days. They enter torpor for a few days at a time, and then arouse to feed on stored nuts and seeds. Life expectancy in the wild is slightly more than a year.

Sexual Dimorphism:

None

Length:

Average: 255 mm
Range: 215-285 mm

Weight:

Average: 130 g
Range: 80-150 g

References:

Linnaeus, C., 1758.  Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classis, ordines, genera, species cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, p. 64.  Tenth Edition, Vol. 1. Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm, 1:1-824.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account * (opens in a new window).
* PDF reader available here (opens in a new window).

Distribution of Tamias striatus

Image of Tamias striatus
Eastern chipmunk, Lutsen, Minnesota.
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Image of Tamias striatus
Tamias striatus (Eastern Chipmunk), Appalachian Trail
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Image of Tamias striatus
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Skull of Tamias striatus
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