Difference between Squirrel and Mole

Main difference

The main difference between Chipmunk and Gopher is that Chipmunks belong to the Sciuridae family, while Gophers are part of the Geomyidae family.

Squirrel vs. Gopher

Squirrels are burrowing rodents that belong to the Sciuridae family and they dig holes in the ground, but they are slightly different from each other. Gophers are also burrowing rodents that are part of the Geomyidae family. Chipmunks are omnivorous. Moles are herbivores. Chipmunk creates a small hole at the entrance to the tunnel. Gopher makes a honeycomb like a babbling hole, and digs mainly to store food. Squirrels prefer to eat the food that plants produce. Moles prefer to eat underground plant roots.

Squirrels’ tails are hairy and bushy; they keep their tails high above the ground while running. Gopher has a long, straight tail low to the ground. Chipmunks give birth to their babies once or twice a year. Gopher gives birth two to three times a year. The usual number of babies that Squirrels give birth at one time is two to eight. Gopher gives birth to five to six babies at a time. Squirrel ears are round and erect. However, Ears of the Gopher is short compared to chipmunks.

Chipmunks are endemic to northern Eurasia and North America. Moles are found in North America and Central America. Chipmunks are known to be vocal animals, producing very high-pitched sounds in their breeding season. Gopher produces sounds on rare occasions and generally remains silent even in their breeding season. Chipmunks do not hide holes in their tunnels and do not use earth plugs to hide their holes. The moles tunnel into a semicircle and plug the holes.

Comparative chart

Chipmunk Ground squirrel
A squirrel with bags on his cheeks. A rodent with bags of fur outside the cheeks.
Sciuridae Geomyidae
Total number of species
25 species are present 34 species are present
Hibernation period
Show hibernation Don’t show hibernation
Lean on Heavy
Hair Skin
Body weight
About 50-150 grams Approximately 120-200 grams
Body length
18-25 cm 16-18 cm
Active at night or dawn Active all day
Insect and plant matter Only plant material
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What is Chipmunk?

Chipmunks are small creatures found primarily in Asia and America. Black aerodynamic stripes are present on the tail, head of neck, or back of chipmunks. Some chipmunks may also have white or brown colored stripes. Squirrels look like squirrel. The physical characteristics of chipmunks are fat legs and a curled tail. Chipmunks belong to the genus “Tamias” and to the family Sciuridae. The chipmunk’s common name is Odawa, also known as Ottawa, which means “red squirrel.”

Chipmunks mainly feed on the fruit of the plant, for example nuts, barriers, grains, seeds, and fungi. Sometimes squirrels also eat baby birds, bird eggs, different insects and frogs, etc. Squirrels can store extra food in cheek pouches and they can also store fat around the body like a bear. They also store their food in their tunnels. Chipmunks are hibernating. During their hibernation period, they look like dead, and their heart rate starts to drop from 350-4 beats / minute, and their body temperature also drops below 90 -40 Fahrenheit.

Spring is the breeding season for chipmunks and they like to mate in the spring season. They are commonly found in brown or tan color. A slim athletic body is covered in brown, white, or reddish fur. One of the distinguishing characteristics of chipmunks is that they have black markings and white stripes around their eyes. They can build tunnels ten to thirty feet long. Eastern chipmunks are the largest species of chipmunk. Chipmunks are most active during dark times and at dawn.

What is gopher?

Moles are small rodents that have a short neck, the front legs have long, strong claws and incisors that touch the lips. The length of the body is five to fourteen inches long. They set up their burrows about two hundred to two thousand square feet long and also make storage chambers for food storage about six feet deep. Gopher is native to America. It is a hairy rodent that has small eyes, small ears and does not have a defined neck. It belongs to the Geomyidae family.

Moles have a heavy body and are designed for burrowing. Gophers are fossil; The word fossorial is derived from the Latin word “fossor” which means to dig. Gophers are usually uniform in color; either they are tan in color or the brown-black stripe pattern is absent on their body. They have claws on their legs; These claws are designed for digging. Gopher is also known as “Pocket Gopher” due to its furry cheek pockets. They use their cheek pockets to transport their food from the food source to their tunnels. Moles found on the ground during the day.

Gophers carry out all their activities inside the tunnel, such as sleeping, eating, mating, etc. They like to feed on plant roots and underground stems or tubers. However, they sometimes like to eat the apical part of small plants as well. Moles are not social animals, but they do like to share their tunnels with other creatures. They are commonly known for their ability to destroy fields, farms, gardens, backyards, etc. Moles are mainly interested in attacking orchards or lawns with moist soil.

Key differences
  1. Squirrels ride around silver dollar-sized holes in the ground, while squirrels ride fan-shaped tunnels.
  2. Squirrels have an athletic body; on the other hand, Gopher has a more robust body.
  3. Chipmunks stay above the ground at night or at dawn, conversely, squirrels stay above the ground all day.
  4. Chipmunks belong to the Sciuridae family; on the other hand, moles are part of the Geomyidae family.
  5. Chipmunks hid their burrows and left no visual signs of their burrow, while chipmunks plug their holes and hide their tunnels.
  6. Chipmunks have colored stripes on their bodies; conversely, moles do not have stripes on the body.
  7. Chipmunks are smaller in body size; on the contrary, the moles are larger.
  8. Squirrels also make nests in trees to feed when they start looking for food; conversely, moles love to live alone on the ground or underground.
  9. Chipmunks are not uniform in color; on the other hand, the moles are of a uniform color.
  10. Chipmunks are more social animals compared to Gophers, but they don’t want to share their tunnels, while Gophers are less social, but they like to share their tunnels.
  11. Squirrels drive holes the size of a silver coin; in contrast, Gophers accumulate holes like honeycombs.
  12. Chipmunks are omnivorous, while chipmunks are herbivores.

Final Thought

Chipmunk and Gopher are the two rodents that are the same but different from each other. They both belong to different families. The difference between a chipmunk and a squirrel based on their bodies, the time of breeding and birth, habitat, body color and the like.

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