Environment

Stuffed Cheeks!

Chipmunk – Nope, didn’t see no peanut. Nuh-uh. Image: EIC Hamsters do it, squirrels do it, chipmunks do it and toddlers certainly love to do it too – stuff as much of the

posted on 09/11/2009
Simone Preuss
Scribol Staff

Chipmunk with peanutPhoto:
Chipmunk – Nope, didn’t see no peanut. Nuh-uh.
Image: EIC

Hamsters do it, squirrels do it, chipmunks do it and toddlers certainly love to do it too – stuff as much of their favourite food into their mouths and store it there for a while. See for yourself to what length these cheeky critters will go to stash as much grub as they can in their gobs. How do they manage to still look so cute? We don’t know but don’t you try this at home please.

Hamster Mike, the grapinator:
Hamster Mike and grapePhoto:
Image: Marina Avila

Hamsters are funny critters best known for their ability to store large amounts of food in the fur-lined pouches on both sides of their head, making it appear double or triple its size when full. Hamsters hoard food in their mouths so that they can transport it to their colony or simply eat it later. This behaviour has led to their name, which goes back to the German verb hamstern for hoarding. The hamster below seems especially ambitious though with that carrot.

I can make this disappear, just wait:
Hamster with carrotPhoto:
Image via pixdaus

Hah, hah… OMG, I’m gonna have to sneeze…
Syrian hamsterPhoto:
Image: Peter Maas

As for the hamster’s diet, it eats anything it can get its little hands on: nuts, berries, fruits, vegetables and wheat; as pets, hamsters are known to try a variety of human foods such as cereal and cheese as well.

I’m not gonna hide. I’m a hamster, okay, hoarding’s what I do so sue me:
Hamsters and leavesPhoto:
Image via pixdaus

I’m just gonna blend in with the mattress and nobody’s gonna know I’ve got the two peanuts…
White hamsterPhoto:
Image: Zixii

Squirrels are inventive rodents known to eat from bird feeders and flower pots to get to desirable foods their extremely sensitive nose have sniffed out. They then hoard as much food as they can carry and bury it or bring it to their nests.

Greedy? Old squirrel proverb says “Two acorns are better than one”:
Squirrel with acornsPhoto:
Image via pixdaus

The squirrels’ cleverness, persistence and furry appearance has inspired many a cinematographic moment. Particularly unforgettable is the character of Scrat, the lisping, slightly pesky yet lovable squirrel from the movie Ice Age, and his rendition of “food, glorious food.” Real life squirrels like all types of nuts, seeds, fir cones, fruits, greens and even fungi. Faced with hunger, they have also been known to eat eggs, insects and small birds, snakes and other rodents.

Let’s see, if I eat one hazelnut now and store two for later, that’s how many?
Red squirrelPhoto:
Image: Ole Petter Drangsholt

Not far behind when it comes to inspiring cartoon characters, chipmunks are another rodent species – often called ground squirrels – that just love to collect and store food. Their diet is similar to that of squirrels plus they also eat grains, worms and small frogs.

Me? Sharing? What cheek! Take that glove off and I’ll show you:ChipmunkPhoto:
Image: Gilles Gonthier

Like hamsters, chipmunks are known to store food in their mouths that seems of an ambitious size. Often fed by humans with peanuts, recent studies have shown that neither raw nor roasted peanuts nor sunflower seeds are particularly good for squirrels as they lack several essential nutrients.

Really, I don’t have your peanuts. Search me if you want to:
ChipmunkPhoto:
Image: EIC

Hello, I am a Canadian chipmunk. Got any more food by any chance?
Canadian chipmunkPhoto:
Image: Gilles Gonthier

Mice of course don’t want to miss out and really are talented when it comes to being greedy.

Ash I wash shaying… – a mouse full:
MousePhoto:
Image via pixdaus

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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Simone Preuss
Scribol Staff