Go Nuts! The 7 Most Amazing Chipmunk Species

As the days grow shorter it’s the chipmunks’ time to shine! These 7 amazing chipmunk species can be hard to spot but you’ll know them by their stripes.

Cliff Chipmunk

The Cliff chipmunk (Neotamias dorsalis) is native to highland cliffs and canyons in the western United States and northern Mexico, provided there are pine and juniper woodlands nearby. These unusually long-lived (up to 12.5 years!) chipmunks are day-active and are often seen among the rocky clefts and crags of the Grand Canyon. (images at top and above via Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren)

* Nutty Chipmunk Fact: Chipmunks are rodents and as such, don’t have long lifespans. Zoologists estimate chipmunks live about three years in the wild although captive or pet chipmunks often live for up to nine years.

Yellow-pine Chipmunk

The Yellow-pine chipmunk (Neotamias amoenus) is a darker-furred creature found in brush-covered areas of western Canada down through the northwestern states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Unlike most western chipmunk species, Yellow-pine chipmunks hibernate through the winter. They do require plenty of food in springtime, however, so much of autumn is spent diligently ensuring their underground seed larders are chock fulla… nuts! (image via USFWS Pacific Southwest Region)

* Nutty Chipmunk Fact: Only some chipmunk species hibernate in winter: In North America, Eastern chipmunks sleep through the winter while most western species remain wakeful in their food-stocked underground burrows.

Long-eared Chipmunk

The Long-eared chipmunk (Neotamias quadrimaculatus) displays a bright red-brown coat with contrasting white patches of fur beneath its strikingly long ears – the longest ears of any chipmunk species, by the way! Also known as the Sacramento chipmunk or the Four-banded chipmunk, this distinctive-looking species inhabits a limited range in the central and northern Sierra Nevada region of eastern California and far-western Nevada. (image via Greg Schechter)

Wonder what truly amazing chipmunks dream of eating? Check out Crunch Time: The World’s 9 Most Unusual Nuts!

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