Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel (Callospermophilus lateralis)

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel (Callospermophilus lateralis)
Location: Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA

Despite the stripes, this little critter is not a chipmunk; it is a ground squirrel.  Taxonomically, ground squirrels and chipmunks belong to the same family, Sciuridae, but represent different genera.

According to the Smithsonian Institution's website about North American Mammals, Gold-mantled Ground Squirrels are solitary burrow-dwellers that  "eat almost anything, including fungi, a variety of plants, fruits, and seeds, insects in all life-cycle stages, nestling birds and eggs, small mammals, and carrion."

I photographed this individual earlier this month in a wooded area near the shore of a small lake within Rocky Mountain National Park.

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