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North Pullu, Ladakh, India

(Marmota himalayana)

IUCN status : Least Concern

Marmots are big and bulky with very short legs. They have a pair of large incisors that grow continuously and need to be kept short and sharpened by frequent gnawing. Marmots rely on their senses to survive, and so have a good sense of smell and hearing. However, they are short-sighted. They communicate by a variety of visual and audio signals. They scream, whistle and use tooth chattering as means of communication. When predators approach, marmots make a high pitched, whistle-like sound to alert others. Marmots are active during the day (diurnal). Marmots typically live in burrows (up to 22 ft deep), and hibernate there through the winter when they survive entirely on their fat reserves accumulated during the summer. They generally begin hibernating in late September.

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