For years, Andrea and I have been arguing about the difference between squirrels and chipmunks. She is always right—and not just in that “it makes my life easier to say so” way. Always willing to use her artistic talents for Evil, she created the following:
This is all very nice, but what I did not realize at the time is that the family Sciuridae is the Squirrel Family! In fact, chipmunks are even part of the same tribe as the ground squirrel. This is the most telling fact, because the Sciuridae Family is large (278 species). It includes both ground and tree squirrels, woodchucks—regardless of how much wood they can chuck, flying squirrels—except those belonging to the family Sciuridae Cartoonus (particular of the subfamily Sciurinae Bullwinkle Showoctus), and prairie dogs.
All the information you need to keep you safe is contained in Andrea’s paste-up. However, for a more scholarly approach, you might check out the Tree of Life web project. And for a good old fashioned “check out all this cool stuff I found out about because I love this subject” page, check out the Chipmunk page on Creagrus at Montery Bay.