Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrel
This small, slender ground squirrel has 13 alternating light and dark stripes running along the back and sides from head to rump. The light stripes are yellowish to white, and the dark ones are blackish to reddish brown, broken by a series of light spots. It has large eyes and small ears set low on the head, and a slightly bushy tail about half as long as the body. One of the few truly hibernating mammals, the thirteen-lined ground squirrel appears above ground only 3-4 months out of the year. In autumn, they eat until their body weight doubles with stored fat. During hibernation in an underground chamber, their body temperature drops to just above freezing and their heart rate slows to five beats a minute.