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All information gathered first-hand, since 1995



The marmot has thick fur with variable coloring of grey and brown. The tip of the tail is black, the ears very short and the short muzzle grey. They are diurnal, but will sit outside their burrows at night in late summer because their thick fur and pre-hibernation fat is too hot. During hibernation, their heartbeat drops from 130 per minute to around 15 per minute and breathing drops to about 5 per minute.

Size

60 cm long, plus 20 cm tail; weight 3-6 kg, drops 50% in Spring after hibernation

Marmotte beside the Lac Graveirette

Habitat

Mountain rock slides above the tree line and Alpine meadows; sometimes down as low as 600 m altitude in old rock slides with thick vegetation. They dig complex burrows, with several attached rooms, up to 3 m deep and 10 m long. They also make simple burrows for use in an emergency.

Diet

They eat grasses and other plants, the above-ground parts of roots and bulbs, insects and worms.