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Photo: Chipmunk flaunts its capacious cheeks (and the cutest hands)

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Our photo of the day reveals the wonders of cheek pouches.

Behold the marvelous chipmunk cheeks! (Not to mention those hands, my goodness.) Photographed by Richard Liebert, this smallest member of the squirrel family seems to be saying, "Nothing in these cheeks, nope, no food here."

But we know what's really going on.

Ed Spevak, curator of invertebrates at the St. Louis Zoo, tells National Geographic that chipmunks can transport food amounts as large as themselves in their oversized pouches; helpful, since they need their forelegs to run from predators. Although when they do, Spevak says, it’s like running “with a fanny pack around your mouth.”

Would you like to see your nature photo featured as the TreeHugger photo of the day? Join TreeHugger’s Reader Photo Pool on Flickr and add your pictures to the group. Alternatively, send it to photos@treehugger.com with "photo of the day" in the subject line.

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