Cute Furry Marmots

Himalayan marmots emerge from a six-month hibernation. Marmots are fast breeding rodents. In the warmer half of the year, they're an important source of food for Himalayan carnivores - including snow leopards and wolves.

In the first few weeks of spring, marmots breed. They mate underground where it's safer, but hierarchies are established in contests outside the burrows.

Marmot battles can be serious, but this match is as much ritual as fight.

Marmot burrows honeycomb a sunny slope. Their diggings and droppings encourage grass growth. Despite the risk from predators, they spend most of their days above ground. Marmots must pack a year’s eating into half that time.

Marmots are closely related to North American prairie dogs in both species both female and male adults in the colony take responsibility for the young.

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