Marmot

Marmot

Overview
The marmots are a genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

, Marmota, of squirrel
Squirrel
Squirrels belong to a large family of small or medium-sized rodents called the Sciuridae. The family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots , flying squirrels, and prairie dogs. Squirrels are indigenous to the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa and have been introduced to Australia...

s. There are 14 species in this genus.

Marmots are generally large ground squirrel
Ground squirrel
The ground squirrels are members of the squirrel family of rodents which generally live on or in the ground, rather than trees. The term is most often used for the medium-sized ground squirrels, as the larger ones are more commonly known as marmots or prairie dogs, while the smaller and less...

s. Those most often referred to as marmots tend to live in mountainous areas such as the Alps
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

, northern Apennines
Apennine mountains
The Apennines or Apennine Mountains or Greek oros but just as often used alone as a noun. The ancient Greeks and Romans typically but not always used "mountain" in the singular to mean one or a range; thus, "the Apennine mountain" refers to the entire chain and is translated "the Apennine...

, Eurasian steppes, Carpathians
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

, Tatras
Tatra Mountains
The Tatra Mountains, Tatras or Tatra , are a mountain range which forms a natural border between Slovakia and Poland, and are the highest mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains...

, and Pyrenees
Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

 in Europe and northwestern Asia; the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

, Black Hills
Black Hills
The Black Hills are a small, isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, USA. Set off from the main body of the Rocky Mountains, the region is something of a geological anomaly—accurately described as an "island of...

, Cascades, and Sierra Nevada in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

; and the Deosai Plateau
Deosai National Park
The Deosai National Park is located in the Skardu, Astore Districts of Gilgit-Baltistan province, in northernmost Pakistan. The park is located on the Deosai Plains of the Greater Kashmir geographic region...

 in Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 and Ladakh
Ladakh
Ladakh is a region of Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state of the Republic of India. It lies between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent...

 in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. The groundhog
Groundhog
The groundhog , also known as a woodchuck, whistle-pig, or in some areas as a land-beaver, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. Other marmots, such as the yellow-bellied and hoary marmots, live in rocky and mountainous areas, but...

, however, is also properly called a marmot, while the similarly sized but more social prairie dog
Prairie dog
Prairie dogs are burrowing rodents native to the grasslands of North America. There are five different species of prairie dogs: black-tailed, white-tailed, Gunnison's, Utah and Mexican prairie dogs. They are a type of ground squirrel, found in the United States, Canada and Mexico...

 is not classified in the genus Marmota but in the related genus Cynomys.

Marmots typically live in burrow
Burrow
A burrow is a hole or tunnel dug into the ground by an animal to create a space suitable for habitation, temporary refuge, or as a byproduct of locomotion. Burrows provide a form of shelter against predation and exposure to the elements, so the burrowing way of life is quite popular among the...

s (often within rockpiles, particularly in the case of the Yellow-bellied marmot
Yellow-bellied Marmot
The yellow-bellied marmot , also known as the rock chuck, is a ground squirrel in the marmot genus.-Description:...

), and hibernate
Hibernation
Hibernation is a state of inactivity and metabolic depression in animals, characterized by lower body temperature, slower breathing, and lower metabolic rate. Hibernating animals conserve food, especially during winter when food supplies are limited, tapping energy reserves, body fat, at a slow rate...

 there through the winter.
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Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
The marmots are a genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

, Marmota, of squirrel
Squirrel
Squirrels belong to a large family of small or medium-sized rodents called the Sciuridae. The family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots , flying squirrels, and prairie dogs. Squirrels are indigenous to the Americas, Eurasia, and Africa and have been introduced to Australia...

s. There are 14 species in this genus.

Marmots are generally large ground squirrel
Ground squirrel
The ground squirrels are members of the squirrel family of rodents which generally live on or in the ground, rather than trees. The term is most often used for the medium-sized ground squirrels, as the larger ones are more commonly known as marmots or prairie dogs, while the smaller and less...

s. Those most often referred to as marmots tend to live in mountainous areas such as the Alps
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

, northern Apennines
Apennine mountains
The Apennines or Apennine Mountains or Greek oros but just as often used alone as a noun. The ancient Greeks and Romans typically but not always used "mountain" in the singular to mean one or a range; thus, "the Apennine mountain" refers to the entire chain and is translated "the Apennine...

, Eurasian steppes, Carpathians
Carpathian Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

, Tatras
Tatra Mountains
The Tatra Mountains, Tatras or Tatra , are a mountain range which forms a natural border between Slovakia and Poland, and are the highest mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains...

, and Pyrenees
Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

 in Europe and northwestern Asia; the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States...

, Black Hills
Black Hills
The Black Hills are a small, isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, USA. Set off from the main body of the Rocky Mountains, the region is something of a geological anomaly—accurately described as an "island of...

, Cascades, and Sierra Nevada in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

; and the Deosai Plateau
Deosai National Park
The Deosai National Park is located in the Skardu, Astore Districts of Gilgit-Baltistan province, in northernmost Pakistan. The park is located on the Deosai Plains of the Greater Kashmir geographic region...

 in Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 and Ladakh
Ladakh
Ladakh is a region of Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state of the Republic of India. It lies between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent...

 in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. The groundhog
Groundhog
The groundhog , also known as a woodchuck, whistle-pig, or in some areas as a land-beaver, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. Other marmots, such as the yellow-bellied and hoary marmots, live in rocky and mountainous areas, but...

, however, is also properly called a marmot, while the similarly sized but more social prairie dog
Prairie dog
Prairie dogs are burrowing rodents native to the grasslands of North America. There are five different species of prairie dogs: black-tailed, white-tailed, Gunnison's, Utah and Mexican prairie dogs. They are a type of ground squirrel, found in the United States, Canada and Mexico...

 is not classified in the genus Marmota but in the related genus Cynomys.

Marmots typically live in burrow
Burrow
A burrow is a hole or tunnel dug into the ground by an animal to create a space suitable for habitation, temporary refuge, or as a byproduct of locomotion. Burrows provide a form of shelter against predation and exposure to the elements, so the burrowing way of life is quite popular among the...

s (often within rockpiles, particularly in the case of the Yellow-bellied marmot
Yellow-bellied Marmot
The yellow-bellied marmot , also known as the rock chuck, is a ground squirrel in the marmot genus.-Description:...

), and hibernate
Hibernation
Hibernation is a state of inactivity and metabolic depression in animals, characterized by lower body temperature, slower breathing, and lower metabolic rate. Hibernating animals conserve food, especially during winter when food supplies are limited, tapping energy reserves, body fat, at a slow rate...

 there through the winter. Most marmots are highly social, and use loud whistles to communicate with one another, especially when alarmed.

Marmots mainly eat greens and many types of grass
Grass
Grasses, or more technically graminoids, are monocotyledonous, usually herbaceous plants with narrow leaves growing from the base. They include the "true grasses", of the Poaceae family, as well as the sedges and the rushes . The true grasses include cereals, bamboo and the grasses of lawns ...

es, berries, lichen
Lichen
Lichens are composite organisms consisting of a symbiotic organism composed of a fungus with a photosynthetic partner , usually either a green alga or cyanobacterium...

s, moss
Moss
Mosses are small, soft plants that are typically 1–10 cm tall, though some species are much larger. They commonly grow close together in clumps or mats in damp or shady locations. They do not have flowers or seeds, and their simple leaves cover the thin wiry stems...

es, root
Root
In vascular plants, the root is the organ of a plant that typically lies below the surface of the soil. This is not always the case, however, since a root can also be aerial or aerating . Furthermore, a stem normally occurring below ground is not exceptional either...

s and flower
Flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

s.

Species


The following is a list of all Marmota species recognized by Thorington and Hoffman (2005). They divide marmots into two subgenera
Subgenus
In biology, a subgenus is a taxonomic rank directly below genus.In zoology, a subgeneric name can be used independently or included in a species name, in parentheses, placed between the generic name and the specific epithet: e.g. the Tiger Cowry of the Indo-Pacific, Cypraea tigris Linnaeus, which...

.
  • Genus Marmota – marmots
    • Subgenus Marmota
      • Alpine Marmot
        Alpine Marmot
        The Alpine Marmot is a species of marmot found in mountainous areas of central and southern Europe. Alpine marmots live at heights between 800 and 3,200 metres in the Alps, Carpathians, Tatras, the Pyrenees and Northern Apennines in Italy...

        , Marmota marmota found only in Europe
        Europe
        Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

         in the Alps
        Alps
        The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

        , northern Apennines in Italy, Carpathians
        Carpathian Mountains
        The Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians are a range of mountains forming an arc roughly long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe...

        , Tatras
        Tatra Mountains
        The Tatra Mountains, Tatras or Tatra , are a mountain range which forms a natural border between Slovakia and Poland, and are the highest mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains...

        , and reintroduced in the Pyrenees
        Pyrenees
        The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

      • Gray Marmot
        Gray Marmot
        The Gray Marmot or Altai Marmot is a species of rodent in the Sciuridae family. It is found in Xinjiang-Province in China, Southeastern Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and in the Altai and Tien Shan Mountains in Southeastern Siberia in Russia. In the Mongolian Altai the range overlaps with that...

         or Altai Marmot, Marmota baibacina found in Siberia
        Siberia
        Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

      • Bobak Marmot
        Bobak Marmot
        The bobak marmot , also known as the steppe marmot, is a species of marmot that inhabits the steppes of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It is also found in Belarus...

        , Marmota bobak found from central Europe
        Europe
        Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

         to central Asia
        Asia
        Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

      • Alaska Marmot
        Alaska Marmot
        The Alaska Marmot , also known as the Brooks Range Marmot or the Browers , is a species of rodent in the family Sciuridae. It is found in the scree slopes of the Brooks Range, Alaska, which provide some protection from predators. They eat grass, flowering plants, berries, roots, moss, and lichen...

        , Brower's Marmot, or Brooks Range
        Brooks Range
        The Brooks Range is a mountain range in far northern North America. It stretches from west to east across northern Alaska and into Canada's Yukon Territory, a total distance of about 1100 km . The mountains top out at over 2,700 m . The range is believed to be approximately 126 million years old...

         Marmot, Marmota broweri found in Alaska
        Alaska
        Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

      • Black-capped Marmot
        Black-capped Marmot
        The black-capped marmot is a species of rodent in the Sciuridae family. It is endemic to Russia.-References:...

        , Marmota camtschatica found in eastern Siberia
        Siberia
        Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

      • Long-tailed Marmot
        Long-tailed Marmot
        The long-tailed marmot or golden marmot is a species of marmot in the Sciuridae family.It is found in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan....

        , Golden Marmot, or Red Marmot, Marmota caudata found in central Asia
      • Himalayan Marmot
        Himalayan marmot
        The Himalayan marmot is a marmot found in the Himalayan regions ranging in elevation from . They can be seen in the Deosai plains in Pakistan and Ladakh in India. They are about the size of a large housecat, and live in colonies. Marmota himalayana is closely related to the woodchuck, the hoary...

         or Tibetan Snow Pig, Marmota himalayana found in the Himalayas
      • Menzbier's Marmot
        Menzbier's Marmot
        The Menzbier's Marmot is a species of rodent in the Sciuridae family. It is found in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Its natural habitat is temperate grassland. It is threatened by habitat loss. Its name commemorates Russian zoologist Mikhail Aleksandrovich Menzbier.-References:*Thorington,...

        , Marmota menzbieri, found in central Asia
        Asia
        Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

      • Groundhog
        Groundhog
        The groundhog , also known as a woodchuck, whistle-pig, or in some areas as a land-beaver, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. Other marmots, such as the yellow-bellied and hoary marmots, live in rocky and mountainous areas, but...

        , Woodchuck or Whistlepig, Marmota monax found in most of North America
        North America
        North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

      • Tarbagan Marmot
        Tarbagan Marmot
        The Tarbagan marmot is a species of rodent in the Sciuridae family. It is found in China , northern and western Mongolia, and Russia .. In the Mongolian Altai the range overlaps with that of the Gray Marmot...

        , Mongolian Marmot, or Tarvaga, Marmota sibirica found in Siberia
        Siberia
        Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

    • Subgenus Petromarmota
      • Hoary Marmot
        Hoary Marmot
        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....

        , Marmota caligata found in northwestern North America
        North America
        North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

      • Yellow-bellied Marmot
        Yellow-bellied Marmot
        The yellow-bellied marmot , also known as the rock chuck, is a ground squirrel in the marmot genus.-Description:...

        , Marmota flaviventris found in southwestern Canada
        Canada
        Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

         and western United States
        United States
        The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

      • Olympic Marmot
        Olympic Marmot
        The Olympic marmot, Marmota olympus, is a marmot . They are found in alpine and subalpine meadows and talus slopes on the Olympic Peninsula in the U.S. state of Washington, and are close relatives of the hoary marmot.Like most marmots, they are gregarious burrowing animals...

        , Marmota olympus endemic to the Olympic Peninsula
        Olympic Peninsula
        The Olympic Peninsula is the large arm of land in western Washington state of the USA, that lies across Puget Sound from Seattle. It is bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean, the north by the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the east by Puget Sound. Cape Alava, the westernmost point in the contiguous...

        , Washington, USA
      • Vancouver Island Marmot
        Vancouver Island Marmot
        The Vancouver Island marmot naturally occurs only in the high mountains of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. This particular marmot species is large compared to some other marmots, and most other rodents...

        , Marmota vancouverensis endemic to Vancouver Island
        Vancouver Island
        Vancouver Island is a large island in British Columbia, Canada. It is one of several North American locations named after George Vancouver, the British Royal Navy officer who explored the Pacific Northwest coast of North America between 1791 and 1794...

        , British Columbia
        British Columbia
        British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

        , Canada
        Canada
        Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...



Additionally, four extinct
Extinction
In biology and ecology, extinction is the end of an organism or of a group of organisms , normally a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of the species, although the capacity to breed and recover may have been lost before this point...

 species of marmot are recognized from the fossil record:
  • Marmota arizonae, Arizona, U.S.
  • Marmota minor, Nevada, U.S.
  • Marmota robusta, China
  • Marmota vestus, Nebraska, U.S.

History and etymology



Marmots have been known since antiquity. Research by the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 ethnologist
Ethnology
Ethnology is the branch of anthropology that compares and analyzes the origins, distribution, technology, religion, language, and social structure of the ethnic, racial, and/or national divisions of humanity.-Scientific discipline:Compared to ethnography, the study of single groups through direct...

 Michel Peissel
Michel Peissel
Michel Georges Francois Peissel was a French ethnologist, explorer and author. He wrote twenty books mostly on his Himalayan and Tibetan expeditions...

 makes a claim that the story of "gold-digging ants" reported by the Ancient Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

, who lived in the 5th century BC, was founded on the golden Himalayan Marmot
Himalayan marmot
The Himalayan marmot is a marmot found in the Himalayan regions ranging in elevation from . They can be seen in the Deosai plains in Pakistan and Ladakh in India. They are about the size of a large housecat, and live in colonies. Marmota himalayana is closely related to the woodchuck, the hoary...

 of the Deosai plateau
Deosai National Park
The Deosai National Park is located in the Skardu, Astore Districts of Gilgit-Baltistan province, in northernmost Pakistan. The park is located on the Deosai Plains of the Greater Kashmir geographic region...

 and the habit of local tribes such as the Minaro
Brokpa
The Brokpa are a small community of Dard people residing in the Dha-Hanu valley about 163 km southwest of Leh in Ladakh. They are thought by some to be the purist descendants of the ancient Indo-Europeans....

 to collect the gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 dust excavated from their burrows.

The etymology of the term "marmot" is uncertain. It may have arisen from the Gallo-Romance prefix marm-, meaning to mumble or murmur (an example of onomatopoeia). Another possible origin is post-classical Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

, mus montanus, meaning "mountain mouse".

Beginning in 2010, Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

 celebrates February 2 as "Marmot Day
Marmot Day
Marmot Day is an Alaskan holiday established to celebrate marmots and Alaska's unique culture. Although local festivals have been part and parcel of frontier life since time immemorial, Marmot Day became an official holiday on April 18, 2009, when the 26th Alaska State Legislature officially...

", a holiday intended to observe the prevalence of marmots in that state and take the place of Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day is a holiday celebrated on February 2 in the United States and Canada. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, it will leave the burrow, signifying that winter-like weather will soon end...

.

Human consumption



Marmots have been eaten for centuries in the native cuisine
Mongolian cuisine
Mongolian cuisine refers to the local culinary traditions of Mongolia and Mongolian styled dishes. The extreme continental climate has affected the traditional diet, so the Mongolian cuisine primarily consists of dairy products, meat, and animal fats. Use of vegetables and spices is limited...

 of Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

, where they are called tarvaga, and in particular are used to make a dish called boodog. Hunting of marmots for food is typically done in seasons and time periods when the animals are heavier.

Carriers of plague



Pneumonic plague
Pneumonic plague
Pneumonic plague, a severe type of lung infection, is one of three main forms of plague, all of which are caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. It is more virulent and rare than bubonic plague...

can be spread by marmots.

External links