Title: Marmot, Alternative Title: (Marmota caligata), Creator: Leupold, James C. Source: WO3215-023, Publisher: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Contributor: DIVISION OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
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Large relatives of the squirrel, the hoary and closely related Alaska marmots weigh 10 pounds (4.5 kg) or more and may exceed 24 inches (61 cm) in total length. The woodchuck weighs between 2 and 6 pounds (.4-2.7 kg). They may grow to be 20 inches (50.8 cm) long. The animals attain their maximum weight in late summer, when they accumulate thick layers of fat that will sustain them through winter hibernation. Body shape is similar in all three species: head short and broad, legs short, ears small, body thickset, tail densely furred, and front paws clawed for digging burrows.
Hoary and Alaska marmots are predominantly gray with a darker lower back and face and a dark, reddish tail. The hoary marmot has a white patch above its nose and usually has dark brown feet, giving it the Latin name caligata, meaning “booted.” The Alaska marmot does not have a white face patch, its feet may be light or dark, and its fur is much softer than the stiff fur of the hoary marmot. A uniform reddish brown, the woodchuck has an unmarked brown face. The name woodchuck originated as a Cree Indian word used to describe a number of similar-sized animals and does not describe characteristics of the woodchuck's behavior or habitat preference. Marmot: Wildlife Notebook Series - Alaska Department of Fish and Game
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