The tiny chipmunk shot to fame with Disney cartoons and movie releases. Cute, loveable and always in trouble – but does their on-screen persona mirror the real thing? Check out our 20 cheeky chipmunk facts to find out!
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Clever, greedy and capable of plenty of mischief – do your kids love spotting cheeky chipmunks?
Having some fun chipmunk facts up your sleeve will keep the kids entertained while on walks. Better still, they can share those facts with their friends or use them for a class project or creative writing to rival the great Alvin and the Chipmunk tales!
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Fun Chipmunk Facts
#1. Walt Disney made chipmunks famous, first with the cartoon characters Chip ‘n’ Dale, and more recently the singing sensations Alvin, Simon and Theodore and their friends the Chipettes (Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor) have come to life on our screens in the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies.
#2. Did you know that there are 25 species of chipmunk and that they are mammals?
#3. All of the 25 species except one, the Siberian Chipmunk (Tamias Sibiricus), lives in North America and they can be found from Mexico to Canada.
#4. Chipmunks have stripes! Most of the 25 species of chipmunk are grey to reddish brown and have contrasting dark and light stripes on their tail, back and at the sides of their faces.
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#5. Although they can’t sing like Alvin and the gang, wild chipmunks are very vocal and have three special chipmunk calls:
- The chip
- The chuck
- The startle
#6. Chipmunks talk a lot too, using bird like sounds and amusing gestures – they really are fun to watch.
#7. Chipmunks have 4 toes on their back paws and 5 toes on their front paws!
#8. A group of chipmunks are known as a scurry.
#9. Forget the chubby bunny challenge! A chipmunk’s cheeks can expand to three times the size of its head! They have special pouches in their cheeks to store food they have collected to take back to their burrows.
#10. Chipmunks are about the size of a jelly bean when they are born. They have no hair, are pink and blind.
#11. Baby chipmunks are known as pups and a family of brothers and sisters are know as a litter. The litter is usually two to eight pups.
#12. Both Mum and Dad look after the chipmunk pups until they are six to eight weeks old. At this time they are ready to head out of the burrow into the world.
#13. They can gather up to 165 acorns per day according to National Geographic.
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#14. During hibernation, chipmunks can seem like they are dead – the chipmunk’s heart rate can drop from 350 beats per minute to just 4 beats per minute and their body temperature can drop from 94F (34.4C) to as low as 40F (4.44C).
#15. Chipmunks are omnivores and feed on fruit, berries, seeds, nuts, grain and insects.
#16. The average life span for a chipmunk is two to three years.
#17. The average chipmunk is not much bigger than a tea cup, standing three to seven inches tall (8com to 18cm) and weighing from 1oz to 5oz (28g to 142g).
#18. The chipmunk’s tail can grow up to 5 inches long!
#19. Chipmunks are part of the squirrel family and are officially considered rodents.
#20. Finally, parents will love this one…chipmunks make great pets. Their antics will keep you amused for hours. But, be warned, just like the chipmunks in the movies, they are exceptional escape artists so you will need to keep a close eye on them!
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Have you any other fun or interesting facts about chipmunks? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!