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8 Animals Like Chipmunks (With Pictures)

There are 25 different species of chipmunks, primarily found in North America. The various species range from 7 to 11 inches in length and between 32 and 125 grams in weight. In this article we learn more about chipmunks as well as some animals like chipmunks.

What are chipmunks?

Chipmunks are small members of the Sciuridae family in the order of Rodentia. They’re often seen in backyards and residential areas. Chipmunks can range in color from reddish brown to light gray and are characterized by stripes across their backs. They have cheek pouches that can expand up to three times the size of their tiny heads.

This is where they stuff their food to carry it back to their dens. Chipmunks are omnivorous and eat a diet of nuts, grains, berries, worms, small frogs, and bird eggs.

These lively and fast creatures may seem unique, but several animals are similar in many ways. This article will detail a few of the animals that are like chipmunks.

8 Animals like chipmunks

The following list of animals similar to chipmunks is to show you some similarities between chipmunks and other animals.

1. Squirrels

Squirrels
Image by JoeBreuer from Pixabay

Why Squirrels are like Chipmunks: Both are members of the Sciuridae family, store food for the winter, are omnivorous, and have hairless, blind, defenseless young.

There are over 280 species of squirrel, and some are more similar to chipmunks than others. All squirrels are omnivorous, like their chipmunk cousins, and forage for nuts, seeds, insects, bird eggs, and more. Squirrels are rodent members of the Sciuridae family and work hard during the fall to store food for the winter when food will be more scarce.

Chipmunks have the same winter preparation habits, but while squirrels do not hibernate for the winter, chipmunks do. Another similarity is their young. Both squirrels and chipmunks have tiny, hairless, blind babies with no way to defend themselves.

2. Marmots

a marmot standing on the rock
Marmot standing on the rock | image by Strange Ones via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Why Marmots are like Chipmunks: Both are members of the Sciuridae family, dig burrows, hibernate, are omnivorous, and have hairless, blind young.

Marmots are one of the largest members of the Sciuridae family, so they are significantly bigger than their chipmunk cousins. Like chipmunks, marmots dig burrows underground to live, hibernate, and breed. Both animals have a similar omnivorous diet.

Almost all rodents have blind, hairless young like chipmunks, and marmots are no different. Their young are significantly smaller than a full-sized marmot and are completely defenseless.

Marmots and chipmunks hibernate, but marmots are known as “true hibernators.” This means they do not wake for almost 200 days, living on their fat stores, lowering their heart rate, and taking only one or two breaths per minute. Chipmunks stay in their burrows in the winter but are in a state of torpor, which is explained in more detail in the next section.

3. Prairie Dogs

group of prairie dogs
Group of Prairie dogs | image by Jodie Wilson via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
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Why Prairie Dogs are like Chipmunks: Both are members of the Sciuridae family, live in burrows, are omnivorous, hibernate in a state of torpor, and have hairless, blind young.

There are five species of prairie dog, all of which are members of the Sciuridae family. Prairie dogs live in complex burrows underground, much like their chipmunk relatives. A prairie dog’s diet consists mainly of grasses and plants but will also eat insects when possible, so they are considered omnivores like chipmunks.

A significant similarity between prairie dogs and chipmunks is that they go into torpor during winter. Unlike true hibernation, animals in a state of torpor have lower body temperatures, metabolic rates, and breathing rates but are not asleep.

They still move around and consume the food they stored for the winter. Both animals also have live young that are hairless and blind when born.

4. Gophers

Gophers
Image by Lubos Houska from Pixabay

Why Gophers are like Chipmunks: Both are members of the order Rodentia, live in burrows underground, have cheek pouches, and have hairless, pink young.

Unlike the previous animals on this list, gophers are not members of the Sciuridae family but are still rodents like chipmunks. Although they live alone rather than in groups, gophers do live in underground burrows like their chipmunk relatives.

Some gopher species, like the pocket gopher, have large cheek pouches similar to a chipmunk, and they store food in these pouches to carry it back to their burrows.

5. Mice

Mice eating
Mice eating Monika Baechler from Pixabay

Why Mice are like Chipmunks: Both are members of the Rodentia order, are similar in size, have sharp teeth for gnawing, and have hairless, pink young.

Mice and chipmunks are not members of the same family but of the same order: Rodentia. These small rodents are very similar in size at the smaller end of the rodent size range.

All rodents have a pair of sharp upper and lower incisors that never stop growing. These teeth are designed for gnawing through food.

6. Rats

rat inside the cage
Rat inside the cage | image by madaise via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0

Why Rats are like Chipmunks: Both are members of the Rodentia order, have sharp teeth for gnawing, and have hairless, pink young.

Rats are bigger than mice and chipmunks but are still members of the Rodentia order. Rats have large, sharp teeth like chipmunks used to gnaw on food, and both can be a nuisance when found inside houses because of their destructive teeth. Like most other rodents, rat babies are tiny, hairless, blind, and pink.

7. Porcupines

Porcupine
Image by Alexa from Pixabay

Why Porcupines are like Chipmunks: Both are members of the Rodentia order, have sharp teeth for gnawing, and live in burrows.

If you look at a porcupine, with its large size and array of sharp quills, you might not see any similarities between it and a chipmunk, but they are there.

Chipmunks and porcupines are both rodents. Therefore, they both have sharp lower and upper incisors for gnawing. Porcupines, like chipmunks, also live in complex burrows underground. Unlike chipmunks, porcupines are herbivores.

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8. Beavers

beaver in nature
Beaver in nature | image by Deborah Freeman via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Why Beavers are like Chipmunks: Both are members of the Rodentia order and have long, sharp teeth for gnawing.

Beavers are semi-aquatic rodents that are much larger than chipmunks. They are both members of the Rodentia order and have sharp teeth for gnawing and grinding down food. Beavers do not hibernate and are herbivorous, so they do not share many other similarities with their distant chipmunk relatives.

Conclusion

Chipmunks are small, striped members of the Sciuridae family nestled under the much larger Rodentia order. They are omnivorous and tend to forage for and eat whatever they can find. They store food for the winter and spend the winter in a state of torpor.

Chipmunks live underground in burrows that can reach significant depths. Their close relatives include squirrels, marmots, and prairie dogs, with which they share many similarities.

They also share similarities with their distant cousins, such as mice, rats, gophers, and porcupines. No matter the animal, somewhere in the world, you can find another animal with similar behaviors, appearance, diet, or habits.