marmot


marmot

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Olympic marmot (Marmota olympus).—E.R. Degginger

Any of about 14 species (genus Marmota) of stout-bodied, diurnal, terrestrial squirrels found in North America, Europe, and Asia. Marmots are 12–24 in. (30–60 cm) long, excluding the short tail, and weigh 7–17 lbs (3–7.5 kg). Most species live in burrows or among boulders. They frequently sit upright and emit a whistling alarm call. Marmots live almost entirely on green plants, storing fat for hibernation. The black-and-white hoary marmot (M. caligata), of Siberia and northwestern North America, which hibernates for up to nine months, is hunted for food and fur. The yellow-bellied marmot (M. flaviventris) inhabits the western U.S. and British Columbia. See also woodchuck.

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