A Hoary marmot among summer wildflowers in Glacier national park in Montana

A Hoary Marmot Among Summer Wildflowers

Montana, USA

Marmots are large ground squirrels in the Genus Marmota. They are the heaviest members of the squirrel family. They are active during the summer, but hibernate during the winter. Groups of marmots are called colonies and the burrow system of these colonies have several entrances and exits relied upon for safety.

Marmots are herbivores eating nuts, leaves, seeds, flowers, grass, and grains, and can live from 13 to 15 years in the wild. A marmot will spend a significant amount of time sunning itself on rocks to get warm. When disturbed it will make a whistling sound to alert others around them of a predator in the area and are sometimes called a “whistle pigs”.

Photo © copyright by Dr. Edward Mikol.

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