The main difference between chipmunk and squirrel is that squirrels have a variety of colors ranging from black to grey, red, and brown, while chipmunks are warm brown in colour with an alternating black and white stripe pattern running down their back.
Since squirrels and chipmunks both belong to the family Sciuridae, the basic body shape of a chipmunk is the same as a squirrel. However, chipmunks are generally smaller than squirrels. Their tails are also quite short in comparison to the large bushy tails of the squirrels.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is a Squirrel
– Definition, Features, Habitat, Diet
2. What is a Chipmunk
– Definition, Features, Habitat, Diet
3. Similarities Between Chipmunk and Squirrel
– Outline of Common Characteristics
4. Difference Between Chipmunk and Squirrel
– Comparison of Key Differences
Squirrels, Chipmunks, Rodents
Squirrel – Definition, Features, Habitat, Diet
A squirrel is a small mammal and a member of the Sciuridae family. They are medium-sized rodents. They are categorized into three types: tree squirrels, ground squirrels, and flying squirrels. Squirrels live on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. Tree squirrels typically live in tree-covered areas while Ground squirrels dig burrows underground to live in.
Squirrels are omnivores and mainly feed on seeds, nuts, fruits, fungi, but they will also eat eggs, small insects, caterpillars, and even young snakes.
Chipmunk – Definition, Features, Habitat, Diet
Chipmunks are rodents having a shape similar to squirrels. These small, furry animals are recognized by their chubby legs, bushy tails, and white, black, and brown stripes that run down their backs. Chipmunks are also the tiniest members of the squirrel family.
There are 25 species of chipmunks reported in the world. However, only one of those species, called the Siberian chipmunk, lives outside of North America, while most of the chipmunk population is refined to the wooded areas in North America.
Similar to squirrels, chipmunks also make homes for themselves by creating burrows or by making nests in bushes or tree logs. Chipmunks are omnivores, and their diet consists of plant life such as berries, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, and grains, as well as baby birds, insects, frogs, and bird eggs.
Similarities Between Chipmunk and Squirrel
- Squirrels and chipmunks are rodents.
- They both have a similar body shape in general.
- Both squirrels and chipmunks are omnivores.
- Chipmunks and ground squirrels make homes for themselves by creating burrows.
Difference Between Chipmunk and Squirrel
A squirrel is a tree-dwelling rodent with a bushy tail, while a chipmunk is a striped rodent comparatively smaller in size but belonging to the same family Sciuridae.
While squirrels are found all over the world except for the polar regions, chipmunks are confined to North America, apart from one specific species found in northeast Asia.
Chipmunks are generally smaller compared to the size of squirrels. Their tails are also quite short in comparison to the large bushy tails of the squirrels.
Moreover, squirrels have a variety of colors ranging from black to grey, red, and brown, while chipmunks are warm brown in colour with an alternating black and white stripe pattern running down their back.
Squirrels mainly feed on fungi, seeds, fruits, nuts, eggs, small insects, caterpillars, and even young snakes, while chipmunks feed on berries, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, grains, insects, baby birds, frogs, and bird eggs.
Chipmunks hibernate, while most squirrels do not hibernate.
Squirrels store food for the cold season and spend the winter snug in their nests. During the warm season, chipmunks stuff extra food into their cheek pouches until they are full, and then they carry the food to their home and store it.
In brief, squirrels and chipmunks are small mammals with short fur and rounded ears. There are black, grey, red, and brown squirrel species. Chipmunks, on the other hand, have a warm brown shade and a unique pattern of brown, black and white stripes on their back. In addition, chipmunks are smaller in size than squirrels. Thus, this is the main difference between chipmunk and squirrel.