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The Alpine Marmot

Author : Rok Hribi

Submitted : 2010-01-19 09:48:19    Word Count : 472    Popularity:   306

Tags:   marmot, alps, mountains, hiking

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The Alpine marmot (Marmota marmota) is a widespread, especially in the alpine rodent. It is is the largest rodent occurring in Europe after the beaver. Young animals of the alpine marmot usually reach sexual maturity in their third year and then leave earlier than their family unit. Because of this late migration of the young, marmots live together in social groups, which may include up to 20 individuals.

Large marmot burrow, which have developed over several generations, have usually have an extensive system of chambers and tunnels. These burrows typically consist of three different types of buildings: in addition to short flight tubes with only one or two entrances, there are Sommerbaue whose Nestkammern often just a lie and a half meters below ground. The flight tube to allow the withdrawal whenever it approaches an enemy. The Sommerbaue also be used to escape the heat of the day. The most important part of the structure is, however, the winter building, whose Nestkammern much deeper than that of Sommerbaue lie. On slopes, they can be up to seven meters below the earth's surface. [12] All burrows have only Nestkammern also caves that are used all year round for the withdrawal of excrement.

On the construction and maintenance of their structure, all ages and both males and females are employed. Loosen the soil with marmots, first the front legs or teeth, and then scraping the earth with powerful movements of the hind legs out. The ausgescharrte material is piled up in the hills surrounding the burrows, which may comprise several cubic meters of volume.

Alpine marmots are well adapted to the cold mountainous regions and more subject to the risk of falling into heat stress. On hot summer days they stay during the hottest hours mostly in their building to cool. [2] You can occasionally be observed as they stretched out in front of their building in the sun. This behavior does not, however, serves to increase their body temperature, but also helps to reduce the number of parasites in their fur. You take these sunbathing an outstretched posture. In this way, they have very extensive contact with the cooler ground substrate can thus keeping down their body temperature [13].

The risk of heat stress also means that alpine marmots not occur below 800 meters above sea level in general. Investigations on the course of a day of marmots have shown that increases with increasing Talnähe the time to spend the marmots during the day in construction. This reduces the time it can afford the animals in order to anzufressen sufficient food reserves for the winter. Although seemingly valleys offer ideal habitat characteristics, marmots are no longer able to build up enough fat reserves to survive winter hibernation.

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More about marmot and hiking in Alps, you can find on Hribi.net web portal.

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