Geologic period: Modern
Hoary marmot, Marmota caligata
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The hoary marmot (Marmota caligata) is a species of marmot that inhabits the mountains of northwest North America. The largest populations are in Alaska. In the northern part of that state they may live near sea level. Hoary marmots live near the tree line on slopes with grasses and forbs to eat and rocky areas for cover. It is the largest North American ground squirrel and is often nicknamed "the whistler" for its high-pitched warning issued to alert other members of the colony to possible danger.
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The "hoary" in their name refers to the silver-grey fur on their shoulders and upper back; the remainder of the upper parts are mainly covered in reddish brown fur. The underparts are greyish. They have a white patch on the muzzle and black feet and lower legs.