elizabeth

22 Aug 2018 68 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 (22)

  • 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 !
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: It is!!
These were so nice to see, never seen one before, and what a view from their place...
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Add it to your list... moose... smile
How fabulous, Elizabeth! I love it all. smile
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thank you so much, Ginnie!!!
  • Chris
  • Not Nowhere
  • 22 Aug 2018, 06:23
Perfectly adapted to his rarified location
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Yes indeedy!
  • 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!
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: smile Can you imagine if some of our super pudgy humans just went into a stupor and lived off their fat for 6 months.... a new diet!!!!
  • 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
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: He certainly is... isn't he adorable!
  • 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....
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: smile I think so!! You're welcome!
Yes... although it could become a new fad diet for some of our super chubby humanoids!!
Hum....j'adore ....Quelle chance d'habiter par là  ...
Merci pour ta photo Elisabeth
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: He certainly is lucky, isn't he!!! Thank you, Claudine!
  • gutteridge
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 22 Aug 2018, 08:00
It looks like you woke it up an wondering what is going on.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Usually...
Lovely picture and I love the commentary.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thank you Sheila! Isn't he super cute!
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 22 Aug 2018, 09:53
A lovely posting to introduce me to the happy whistler and its view.

In our mountains and hills (wherever there are rocks with crevices) we have a hyrax lurking https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyrax . Reminds me a lot of your marmot. The hyrax also whistles when alarmed. They also can make a grunting noise, that can scare the bejeebies out of you, if you weren't expecting it.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thank you, Louis!

I know Hyrax... they are the closest relative to elephants, aren't they?
They remind me of beavers too but are entirely different. I LOVE their view.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: I see what you mean, though!
What an entertaining post, I like the narrative done in the first person, he's a cute little character.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thanks, Brian! I had fun writing it!
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 22 Aug 2018, 13:28
Yes, you are! I like your two front teeth.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Very good little noshers!
I love his expression, Elizabeth. A fabulous shot of this chubby fellow.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thank you, Beverly!
  • Ayush Basu
  • Venlo, Netherlands
  • 22 Aug 2018, 15:59
you did excellent to have captured the first shot, Elizabeth. love both of them.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thanks so much, Ayush!
he's a cute little marmot Elizabeth...
i love where you live... great framing....petersmile
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thanks so much, Peter!!
You wouldn't want one of them hanging off your bird feeder E
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: I don't imagine he'd be able to pull himself up there!
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 23 Aug 2018, 04:12
I am thinking "Rodent of Unusual size".
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: HA! The infamous ROUS's! smile
  • Bonnie
  • United States
  • 23 Aug 2018, 05:42
How adorable. I also like the second composition.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: They are! Thank you, Bonnie!

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sensitivity ISO800
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