Golden-mantled ground squirrel
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|Golden-mantled ground squirrel|
The golden-mantled ground squirrel (Callospermophilus lateralis) is a ground squirrel found in mountainous areas of western North America. It is abundant throughout its range and is equally at home in a wide variety of forest habitats, as well as rocky meadows, and even sagebrush flats.
A typical adult ranges from 23 to 30 cm (9.1 to 11.8 in) in length. The golden-mantled ground squirrel can be identified by its chipmunk-like stripes and coloration, but unlike a chipmunk, it lacks any facial stripes. It is commonly found living in the same habitat as Uinta chipmunks.
The golden-mantled ground squirrel is similar to a chipmunk in more than just its appearance. Although it is a traditional hibernator, building up its body fat to survive the winter asleep, it is also known to store some food in its burrow, like the chipmunk, for consumption upon waking in the spring. Both the golden-mantled ground squirrel and the chipmunk have cheek pouches for carrying food. Cheek pouches allow them to transport food back to their nests and still run at full speed on all fours. Golden-mantled ground squirrels dig shallow burrows up to 30 m (98 ft) in length with the openings hidden in a hollow log or under tree roots or a boulder. The female gives birth to a single litter of four to six young each summer.
- Helgen, Kristofer M.; Cole, F. Russel; Helgen, Lauren E.; Wilson, Don E (2009). "Generic Revision in the Holarctic Ground Squirrel Genus Spermophilus" (PDF). Journal of Mammalogy. 90 (2): 270–305. doi:10.1644/07-MAMM-A-309.1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 October 2011.
- "Spermophilus lateralis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 23 March 2006.
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