How many almonds can this chipmunk stuff in its cheeks?

Whether it’s crackers, marshmallows, or even nuts, competing to see how much food can fit in your mouth is a classic cottage game. Which is why this video of a chipmunk stuffing his cheeks to the brim with almonds is such a delight.

The gleeful woman in the video counts along as the ambitious rodent packs in the nutritious almonds, getting as high as nine before running off to stash its haul.

While it might look like the chipmunk is harming itself, their cheeks are designed to expand greatly to hold payloads of food while they are foraging. This system is much more efficient than carrying by paw, or one at a time. Which is fortunate for the chipmunks because they must stockpile a substantial amount of food for the long winter.

While you might be tempted to hand-feed chipmunks and squirrels, it’s never a good idea. Both for the animal’s safety and your own, it’s best that they stay wary of humans. Besides, a startled chipmunk may very well mistake your finger for food, chomping down and causing risk of infection.

Still, we tip our hats to this big-mouthed chipmunk, and wish it well on its never-ending quest to gather food.