Another remarkable quality that many rodents (including squirrels) possess is the ability to store food in their cheek pouches. There are other mammals that possess these pouches, such as platypus, monkeys and the marsupial koala. Similarly, one can find other types of pouches in other mammals, such as marsupials. These pouches are incredibly elastic and can fit a lot of stuff in them. Cheek pouches are pockets located on both sides of a mammal’s head, between the jaw and the cheeks. Chipmunks’ and hamsters’ cheek pouches are known to be extremely big and can look quite funny when they are stuffed full of food, making the rodent look like they have got a disproportionally big head.
What is the difference between a squirrel and a chipmunk then? Basically, chipmunks are squirrels with a certain pattern on their fur which makes them a bit unique in terms of appearance. This pattern is a set of colorful stripes that cross their entire bodies. Chipmunks can mainly be found in North America. Probably one of the most known facts about chipmunks is that, during the beginning of fall, they start stockpiling nonperishable food to ensure their survival over the winter.
The food they collect is saved in their burrows, where they will remain until the break of spring. The cheek pouches mentioned above allow chipmunks to take food such as nuts, fruits, seeds, buds etc. to their burrows for storage and consumption. There are two pop culture characters created by Walt Disney Productions called Chip ‘n’ Dale, who are two chipmunks. Chip has a smaller black nose like a chocolate chip and two protruding teeth, while Dale has a bigger, red nose and his canine teeth are exposed. People also refer to chipmunks as striped squirrels, munks, chippers, timber tigers, and even ground squirrels.