elizabeth

22 Aug 2018 25 views
 
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photoblog image I'm SUPER CUTE!

I'm SUPER CUTE!

I'm also a Yellow Bellied Marmot!

 

We are one of the largest members of the squirrel family. We can grow up to two feet in length and weigh up to 11 pounds.  Yes, I am rather pudgy... but my large body size is an adaptation to the cold, high elevation where I live.

 

I'm a friendly guy, but here I am acting as the sentinel for my family.  If any of you humans make me nervous - I'll whistle to them as an alarm to go back inside the den. 

 

The extreme winters here in the Rocky Mountains require us to use hibernation for survival.  We enjoy basking in the summer sunshine, and munching on grasses, flowers, insects... all to fatten up - this will get us though the roughly 200 days of hibernation.  During the winter, we snuggle up closely to conserve energy - though our temperatures will drop to about 41 degrees fahrenheit.  Our heart beat will be reduced to about 30 per minute (normally it's 180-200 when active), and we'll only need one or two breaths per minute during this phase.

 

When we awaken in the spring, all this winter conservation will have left us with just enough energy to wander out... squint into the brilliant Colorado sun, and start munching again!

 

 

Here's where I live... not a bad view, eh?!  

photoblog image Colorful Colorado

 

I'm SUPER CUTE!

I'm also a Yellow Bellied Marmot!

 

We are one of the largest members of the squirrel family. We can grow up to two feet in length and weigh up to 11 pounds.  Yes, I am rather pudgy... but my large body size is an adaptation to the cold, high elevation where I live.

 

I'm a friendly guy, but here I am acting as the sentinel for my family.  If any of you humans make me nervous - I'll whistle to them as an alarm to go back inside the den. 

 

The extreme winters here in the Rocky Mountains require us to use hibernation for survival.  We enjoy basking in the summer sunshine, and munching on grasses, flowers, insects... all to fatten up - this will get us though the roughly 200 days of hibernation.  During the winter, we snuggle up closely to conserve energy - though our temperatures will drop to about 41 degrees fahrenheit.  Our heart beat will be reduced to about 30 per minute (normally it's 180-200 when active), and we'll only need one or two breaths per minute during this phase.

 

When we awaken in the spring, all this winter conservation will have left us with just enough energy to wander out... squint into the brilliant Colorado sun, and start munching again!

 

 

Here's where I live... not a bad view, eh?!  

photoblog image Colorful Colorado

 

comments (10)

  • Steven
  • Chicagoland
  • 22 Aug 2018, 01:42
What a splendid close-up of this marmot!! Thank you for the background information as well. Beautiful flowers that dot the landscape!
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: smile Thank you, Steven! I'm glad you enjoyed this post! smile
We seemed to hit this part of the Rockies at the right time for wildflowers.
  • sherri
  • Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
  • 22 Aug 2018, 02:06
wow, what a capture !

such a cute face
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thank you so much, Sherri!
  • Martine
  • France
  • 22 Aug 2018, 05:19
Quelle mignonne petite tête !
These were so nice to see, never seen one before, and what a view from their place...
How fabulous, Elizabeth! I love it all. smile
  • Chris
  • Not Nowhere
  • 22 Aug 2018, 06:23
Perfectly adapted to his rarified location
  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 22 Aug 2018, 06:33
Hahah!! Well, hello... good to see you up close. I have seen your friends of trips t your lovely homeland. Hibernation sounds like good plan; I'm sure some humans would like to do the same if they could; they are pudgy, too!
  • Lisl
  • Bath, England
  • 22 Aug 2018, 06:42
He sounds very well adapted for survival - he really looks the part. What a glorious habitat for him
  • Astrid
  • Nederland
  • 22 Aug 2018, 06:47
He is super CUTE, Elizabeth and thank you for telling his life story... I can live with the view too, however I doubt that I want to fatten up for a 200 days sleep HA HA HA....
Hum....j'adore ....Quelle chance d'habiter par là  ...
Merci pour ta photo Elisabeth

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camera Canon EOS Rebel T6s
exposure mode aperture priority
shutterspeed 1/50s
aperture f/13.0
sensitivity ISO800
focal length 85.0mm
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