While keeping up with social distancing during a walk on the outskirts of Trail last week, Ron Wilson eyed this marmot coming out of hiding by Waneta Dam. (Ron Wilson photo)

What you see …

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More about marmots:

Marmots are relatively large ground squirrels in the genus Marmota, with 15 species living in Asia, Europe and North America.

These herbivores are active during the summer when often found in groups, but are not seen during the winter when they hibernate underground.

They are the heaviest members of the squirrel family.

Marmots are large rodents with characteristically short but robust legs, enlarged claws well adapted to digging, stout bodies and large heads and incisors to quickly process a variety of vegetation.

While most species are various forms of earthen-hued brown, marmots vary in fur coloration based roughly on their surroundings with species in more open habitat types more likely to have a paler color while those partially found in well-forested regions tend to be darker.

Total length varies typically from about 42 to 72 cm (17 to 28 in) and body mass in the smaller species averages about 2 kg (4.4 lb) in spring in the smaller species and 8 kg (18 lb) in autumn, at times exceeding 11 kg (24 lb), in the larger species.

The largest and smallest species are not clearly known.

In North America, based on mean linear dimensions and body masses through the year, the smallest species appears to be the Alaska marmot and the largest is the Olympic marmot.

Some species, such as the Himalayan marmot and Tarbagan marmot, in Asia appear to attain roughly similar body masses to the Olympic marmot but are not known to reach as high a total length as the Olympic species.

In the traditional definition of hibernation, the largest marmots are considered the largest “true hibernators” (since larger “hibernators” such as bears do not have the same physiological characteristics as obligate hibernating animals such as assorted rodents, bats and insectivores).

~ Sourced from Wikipedia

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Marmot coming out of hiding by Waneta Dam. March 18th. Ron Wilson photo Ron Wilson photo

Marmot coming out of hiding by Waneta Dam. March 18th. Ron Wilson photo

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