The ground-dwelling squirrels are widespread throughout North America, Africa, and Eurasia except for Southeast Asia. Ground squirrels have not invaded South America unlike tree squirrels. More than 70% of the world's ground-dwelling squirrels are endemic to North America, including two genera Cynomys and Ammospermophilus. Only one species, the arctic ground squirrel Spermophilus parryii, is found in North America and Asia. All except one of the 25 species of chipmunks (Tamias sibericus) are found in North America.

The Chinese rock squirrels Sciurotamias and the long-clawed squirrel Spermophilopsis are the only genera endemic to Asia. Xerus and Atlantoxerus are endemic to Africa. There are no ground squirrel genera endemic to Europe.

An alpine marmot (Marmota marmota) showing its teeth, used to eat berries, nuts, grass, and roots. (Photo by Frank Krahmer. Bruce Coleman, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)
A hoary marmot (Marmota caligata) carrying nesting material in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA. (Photo by Erwin & Peggy Bauer. Bruce Coleman, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)
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