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Journal Article

Hoarding, Body Mass Dynamics, and Torpor as Components of the Survival Strategy of the Eastern Chipmunk

John A. Wrazen and Linda A. Wrazen
Journal of Mammalogy
Vol. 63, No. 1 (Feb., 1982), pp. 63-72
DOI: 10.2307/1380672
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1380672
Page Count: 10

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Topics: Food consumption, Food availability, Food, Hoarding, Summer, Female animals, Autumn, Torpor, Winter, Hibernation
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Hoarding, Body Mass Dynamics, and Torpor as Components of the Survival Strategy of the Eastern Chipmunk
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Abstract

Hoarding behavior, food consumption, body mass changes, and hibernating responses of eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus) were observed from summer through spring under controlled conditions. Cyclicity was detected in the proportion of daily diet made up of cache food. Chipmunks demonstrated an ability to recognize cache food in the absence of spatial cues and to determine cache "ownership" on the probable basis of olfactory and/or gustatory cues. Hoarding rate was lower after a period of increased food availability and cache sizes of most individuals plateaued below maximum burrow capacity. There was an increasing trend from summer through winter in body mass for most females but not for most males, though food consumption rates for sexes were similar. Chipmunks which did not gain mass accumulated larger caches and consumed more food during winter (and less at other times) than mass-gainers and remained active during winter (most males) or became torpid (some females); there was evidence of semitorpidity among mass-gainers. Strategies are discussed for a species with individual behavioral and physiological variation involving both external (cache) and internal (body mass) storage for survival.

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