Chipmunks are small squirrels that live throughout much of the northern hemisphere. There are 25 species, all but one of which live in North America. Depending on species, they grow to be 7.2 to 8.5 inches long including the tail, and they weigh between 1 and 5 ounces. A chipmunk's standard life span is three years.
Chipmunks live in several habitats, including deserts, forests, grasslands and mountains. They are at home climbing through trees, swimming in water, hiding in rock crevices and burrowing in the ground. Chipmunks are omnivores, meaning that they eat both plants and animals. Seeds, nuts, fruit, earthworms and bird eggs are all on a chipmunk's menu. Chipmunks can carry large amounts of food at once in special cheek pouches within their mouths.
Chipmunks survive severe winters by sleeping through most of them, although they do not engage in full-season hibernation. Much of the warmer season is spent collecting acorns and other food items for winter storage. In fact, chipmunks have been known to gather 165 acorns in just one day. The creature wakes periodically during the winter season to feed from its storage pile.
Females give birth to one or two litters during the spring. Each litter consists of four to five young chipmunks.