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Temporal range: Early Miocene to Recent
Tamias rufus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Tribe: Marmotini
Genus: Tamias
A chipmunk

A chipmunk is a small squirrel-like rodent. About twenty-three species fall under this title, with one species in North America.

The name may have originally been spelled "chitmunk" (perhaps from a Native American word meaning "red squirrel"). However, the earliest form comes from the Oxford English Dictionary (in 1842) as "chipmonk". Other early forms include "chipmuck" and "chipminck".

Chipmunks are hoarders, meaning they store food in their cheek pouchs.

Popular culture[change | change source]

Chip 'n Dale, two Disney cartoon characters, are famous chipmunks in pop culture. Another such trio is Alvin, Simon and Theodore (created by Ross Bagdasarian).