Appearance and Adaptations

  • Small, short ears
  • Elongated slender body
  • Four appendages with long claws on the fore feet, used for digging
  • Internal cheek pouches used to carry food
  • Thin, bushy tail about 75-109mm
  • Weight:110-140 grams
    Length: 170-310mm
  • Males are slightly larger than females and young are similar in color to the adults
  • Thirteen yellowish-buff and dark brown longitudinal stripes, alternating solid and broken by squares of the lighter color, starting at the nape of the neck and extending to the base of the tail, blends into its environment
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  • Diural during the summer and hibernates during the winter
  • Skull: sciurognathous and sciuromorphous
    Sciurognathous: lower jaw is v-shaped
    Sciuromorphous: anterior to the orbit where the lateral masseter arises is a large zygomatic plate
    • Postorbital process
    • Infraorbital foramen is small and shifted forward
  • Teeth: lack canines, has continuously growing incisors with enamel only covering the front and sides that needed to be kept at a reasonable size by gnawing, a large diastema separates the incisors and cheek teeth



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