Order: Rodentia
(Chipmunks, Marmots, & Squirrels)


Family: Sciuridae

Sciuridae - Chipmunks, Marmots and Squirrels
    Members of this family represent a large, diverse and interesting group. They live in trees, on the ground, in burrows, and one even glides through the air. Most of us are familiar with the tree squirrels. Their large, bushy tails curl over their body while they are feeding on their nuts, fruits or seeds. We see them in urban areas, or in forests. The flying squirrel, a species of forests is mostly nocturnal Click word for definitionand can escape predators by launching out of trees and gliding to the ground or another tree trunk. Other tree squirrels are diurnal Click word for definition, and at best, can only jump short distances from limb to limb. Tree squirrels are non-hibernators. Ground squirrels typically nest in burrows, and most are hibernators. Chipmunks inhabit both trees and the ground. They have internal cheek pouches for transporting food which they store for winter use. They hibernate Click word for definition, but arouse frequently and eat before entering a state of hibernation again. All chipmunks have stripes that run along the sides of their back and extend foreward to their eyes. Most members of the squirrel family vocalize with long, chatter calls or a variety of chirps. There is large range in size, from the smallest chipmunks to the much larger marmots.


Written by Don Streubel, 2001
Page design by Ean Harker ©2000.