uintah chipmunk neotamias umbrinus eating seed in great basin national park

Why chipmunks have stripes?

? One of my favorite encounters on my trip to the Great Basin National Park in Nevada, was this Uintah Chipmunk – Hidden Forest Chipmunk (Neotamias umbrinus).

Where the Uintah Chipmunks live?

This species is an endemic rodent from the United States, which means that you can see it only in this part of the world. They live in rocks, bushes, and scattered trees.

What chipmunks eat in the wild?

They feed mainly on fruits and seeds, mainly of conifers such as Juniper or Ponderosa Trees. During the visit to the montane and subalpine ecosystems, while we interacted with them is fascinated and observed how important they are for seed dispersal (as seen in the photo).

Why chipmunks have stripes?

Prof Hoekstra, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University said “we know very little about how pigment patterns form, especially in mammals”. The first probability that we have to think about it that Chipmunks are part of the squirrel family, and split off from mice and rats about 70 million years ago. This is part of a long process of evolution, where the genes changes and makes the bellies of many rodents light in colour. You can read more about in this article.

uintah chipmunks squirrel eating seeds
Photo: Krystal Zuniga

Author: Krystal Zuniga

Feature photo: Krystal Zuniga

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