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The Hoary Marmot

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The Hoary Marmot

Post by Guest on Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:23 pm

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Hoary marmot
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Adult

Baby

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General Information;

Type: Mammal
Diet: Herbivore
Size: 62 to 82 cm (24 to 32 in)
Weight: 10 kg (22 lb)
Conservation status:

Scientific Classification: Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Mammalia, Order: Rodentia, Family: Sciuridae, Genus: Marmota, Subgenus: Petromarmota
Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man: Not applicable
Hoary marmot Range


The hoary marmot is a species of marmot that inhabits the mountains of northwest North America. Hoary marmots live near the tree line on slopes with grasses and forbs to eat and rocky areas for cover. It is the largest North American ground squirrel and is often nicknamed "the whistler" for its high-pitched warning issued to alert other members of the colony to possible danger. The animals are sometimes called "whistle pigs". Whistler, British Columbia, originally London Mountain because of its heavy fogs and rain, was renamed for these animals to help make it more marketable as a resort. The closest relatives of the species are the yellow-bellied, Olympic, and Vancouver Island marmots, although the exact relationships are unclear.
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Physical Features;
The word "hoary" refers to the silver-gray fur on their shoulders and upper back; the remainder of the upper parts have drab- or reddish-brown fur. The head is black on the upper surface, with a white patch on the muzzle, white fur on the chin and around the lips, and grizzled black or brown fur elewhere. The feet and lower legs are black, sometimes with white patches on the fore feet. Marmots have long guard hairs that provide most of the visible colour of their pelage, and a dense, soft underfur that provides insulation. The greyish underparts of the body lack this underfur, and are more sparsely haired than the rest of the body. Hoary marmots moult in the early to mid summer. The feet have slightly curved claws, which are somewhat larger on the fore feet than on the hind feet. The feet have hairless pads, enhancing their grip. The tail is long, slightly flattened, and covered with dense fur.
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Mental Features;
Many forms of social behaviour have been observed among hoary marmots, including play fighting, wrestling, social grooming, and nose-to-nose touching. Such activity becomes particularly frequent as hibernation approaches. Interactions with individuals from other colonies are less common, and usually hostile, with females chasing away intruders. Hoary marmots are also vocal animals, with at least seven distinct types of calls, including chirps, whistles, growls, and whining sounds.[11] Many of these calls are used as alarms, alerting other animals to potential predators. They also communicate using scent, both by defecation, and by marking rocks or plants using scent glands on their cheeks. Hoary marmots frequently sun themselves on rocks, spending as much as 44% of their time in the morning doing so, although they will shelter in their burrows or otherwise seek shade in especially warm weather. They forage for the rest of the day, returning to their burrows to sleep during the night.
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Diet;
The hoary marmot eats a variety of grasses, green plants and seeds. It often eats snow to get the water it needs. The hoary marmot puts on a layer of fat in the fall before it hibernates. In the southern parts of its range, it hibernates from October through February. In the northern part of its range, it hibernates from September through April. The marmot is very territorial and will chase other marmots from its feeding range.
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Threats towards this animal;
The threats towards this animal excluding wolves are:

Black bears, coyotes, fox, lynxes, golden eagles, grizzly bears, cougars and wolverines.
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Credits (c);

Images:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fchelaru/5008300204/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/elacol/223108093/

Information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoary_Marmot
http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/hoarymarmot.htm
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