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Alpine Marmot

Alpine Marmot
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-08-25
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon 24-70 mm f 2,8 L-USM
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): High Altitude [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-09-02 9:13
Viewed: 4855
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This Marmot was one of about 15 - 20 living by the viewing area at the Pasterzee Glacier. They are quite used ti humans although they were severl feet below the viewing area.

The Alpine Marmot (Marmota marmota) is a species of marmot found in mountainous areas of central and southern Europe. Alpine Marmots live at heights between 800 and 3,200 metres, in the Alps, Tatras, the Pyrenees and Mount Baldo by the Riva del Garda, Italy. They were reintroduced with success in the Pyrenees in 1948, where the Alpine Marmot had disappeared at end of the Pleistocene epoch. They are excellent diggers, able to penetrate soil that even a pickaxe would have difficulty with, and spend up to nine months per year in hibernation. An adult Alpine Marmot may weigh between 4 and 8 kg and reach between 42–54 cm in length (not including the tail, which measures between 13–16 cm on average). This makes the Alpine Marmot the largest squirrel species.

When creating a burrow, they use both their forepaws and hind feet to assist in the work—the forepaws scrape away the soil, which is then pushed out of the way by the hind feet. If there are any stones in the way, providing they aren't too large, the Alpine Marmot will remove them with its teeth. "Living areas" are created at the end of a burrow, and are often lined with dried hay, grass and plant stems. Any other burrow tunnels that go nowhere are used as toilet areas. Once burrows have been completed, they only host one family, but are often enlarged by the next generation, sometimes creating very complex burrows over time. Each Alpine Marmot will live in a group that consists of several burrows, and which has a dominant breeding pair. Alpine Marmots are very defensive against intruders, and will warn them off using intimidating behavior, such as beating of the tail and chattering of the teeth, and by marking their territory with their scent. One can often see an Alpine Marmot "standing" while they keep a look-out for potential predators or other dangers. If one is spotted, they will emit a loud whistle or chirp—one whistle is given for possible airborne predators, more for ground predators.

The mating season for Alpine Marmots occurs in the spring, right after their hibernation period comes to a close, which gives their offspring the highest possible chance of surviving the coming winter. Alpine Marmots are able to breed once they reach an age of two years. Once the female is pregnant, she will take bedding materials (such as grass) into the burrow for when she gives birth, after a gestation period of 33–34 days. Each litter consists of between one to seven babies, through this number is usually three. All the babies are born blind, and within several days all will have grown dark fur. The weaning period takes a further forty days, during which time the mother will leave the young in the burrow while she searches for food. After this period, the offspring will come out of the burrow and search for solid food themselves. Their fur becomes the same colour as other Alpine Marmots by the end of the summer, and after two years they will have reached their full size. If kept in captivity, Alpine Marmots can live up to 15–18 years.

gracious, pvb, XOTAELE, nglen, Aramok, kuhufu, uleko, Ingrid1 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

very good note guide line
a good composition
well done

best wishes

Hi James ,
These Marmot can be quite handful,exellent portarait,BG & POV.

Now, this is a cute creature :) I like this picture for its beautiful details and very interesting POV. Those little ones are such sweet animals; I like them very much :)

Hello James,
pretty close up on this cute fellow!
good exposure and focus with clarity and details
well composed and well seen

  • Great 
  • cali Silver Star Critiquer [C: 32 W: 0 N: 0] (316)
  • [2007-09-02 9:47]

et bien je vous félicite. arriver à photographier une marmotte avec un télé 24-70, impressionnant, votre patiente a été généreusement récompensée. pas très farouche la marmotte :-) bravo.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-09-02 10:13]

Hi James,
a great shot of this Marmot.
Very sharp with excellent detail in the fur.
Great composition.
Well done,

If it's not too much trouble then I would definately like a large version of the Chough.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-09-02 10:13]

Hello James

A very good photo of this alpine marmot.The focus and details are sharp.The fur and textures are excellent.The shot is very well illuminated.Your POV is wonderful and the DOF is very good.I like the way he places his paws as if posing.TFS


  • Great 
  • pvb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 385 W: 16 N: 531] (1981)
  • [2007-09-02 10:19]

Hi James,
The grossglockner is a perfect place to see these cute animals and as you said they are not so afraid of humans there. Great to see that you can get so close to them. Very good focus, sharpenss and details. Good pov and nice colours.
tfs Paula

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-09-02 10:46]

Hi James,
Just marking the post and will be back with a proper critique later. Sorry about this.

Hi James,
Looks like this little critter is actually smiling at you. I like how he's lying flat on its belly completely comfortable with your presence. It looks like you had some harsh sunlight to work with which makes the exposure touch to control but well handled. I like the fact that you got excellent details in the marmot and the grasses in front but still got the BG OOF.

Estupenda nota para una no menos estupenda imagen.
Buenos colores y ajustada exposición.
Saludos James, JL.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-09-02 11:42]

Hi James. A very good shot of the Marmot. it looks very cute. you have captured fine detail in the fur. with good colours. a nice POV. well done . TFS. good notes too.

Have a good week ahead.

  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2007-09-02 11:49]

Wonderful animal/ Good composition and POV

  • Great 
  • Aramok Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 896 W: 101 N: 1501] (5166)
  • [2007-09-02 12:03]

Hi James

The details on the marmot are so very clear with a great sense of the area in which you took the photo. I also appreciate your notes greatly.


Hello James,

A good sharp shot from this little boy. I have heard these marmots frequently in the mountains of Switzerland and of very far seen, but never this way so near. Splendid. Natural colors. Good POV and BG. Nice composition. Interesting notes. Regards and TFS

Hi James
I like this picture for its beautiful details and very interesting POV. Those little ones are such sweet animals; I like them very much :)

  • Great 
  • pirate Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 799 W: 152 N: 1186] (7474)
  • [2007-09-02 23:41]

hi james,

:-) what a fabulous pose for you!excellent!!!

Hello James,
It is a very good photo of a marmot.The focus and details are fine. Note is delightful as well.

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2007-09-03 3:18]

James, Though the shot has little noise but it is only BG. When I browsed down the shot has actually changed my opinion. Lovely and thanks for sharing. Good note too ganesh

Very cute Marmot, James. Looks like it is enjoying the sunshine.
Very useful note too on the species.
TFS and regards.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-09-03 6:47]

Hello James,
I've seen these through the binocs in Austria too. They seem pretty shy to me. Very fine capture, it's not often you see them pictured. I like its pose and the light. Very fine composition.
TFS and regards, Ulla

Dear James,
I am delighted to have found your Marmot. You are right, they do not mind human company, and numerous times have I given passing walkers a spectacle, kneeling on the ground and talking to a rock.

I had spotted a marmot somewhere in the Swiss Alps and whispered endearments to the animal to give Jim a chance to creep around a get a good photograph.

I have added your work (thanks for the comprehensive notes) to my theme "high altitude"

Thanks for sharing
Greetings from the Tzaneen Dam in Limpopo, South Africa

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