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marmots

 

General Information: Marmots are also called "Rock Chucks or Whistle Pigs" they are the largest ground squirrel of Colorado. When Lewis and Clark came through they failed to recognize the species separate from the groundhog or woodchuck. You can read about that by visiting the National Museum of Natural History. In Colorado there is a hunting season for the marmot and are supposed to be some kind of tasty.

People have studied the alarms of the marmot as well and it's called the Yellow-bellied Marmot Alarm Calling Factsheet. I found this factsheet quite interesting to say the least. Learn the difference between a chirp and whistle.

Yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris) are diurnal, herbivorous rodents. They hibernate in burrows during the winter months. Sixty percent of their diet consists of Trifolium andersonii variation bealteyae (a type of clover). The rest of their diet consists of grasses and sedges.

A marmot’s gestation period is for approximately thirty days. The lactation period is for thirty days. During this time of lactation, the juveniles are prevented from going outside of the burrow. Entrances that are easy to escape from are blocked with rocks by the female to prevent the juveniles from leaving the burrow. After the lactation period, the juveniles are mature enough to leave the burrow (June-July). During the first week of emergence, the juveniles forage and play very close to the burrow. As time goes on, they become more adventurous and explore their surroundings. Juveniles stay with their mother for up to a year. Females may stay near home for longer (half disperse in their yearling summer), but all males leave their natal burrow as yearlings.

Usually there is just one female and her brood (if there are any) in the burrow. Some females do share their burrows with other marmots (another female). These females are usually a close relative (a sibling or daughter). Occasionally adult males share a burrow with a female, but often they have a separate burrow and do not interact with their young. On occasion, an adult marmot may kill the offspring of another female (infanticide).

 
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