Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 7, 2020

Marmot Life

Yosemite National Park describes the life of a marmot

Throughout the summer, Yosemite marmots were at the top of their game, feeding every morning and evening, napping all afternoon, building up body fat, and screaming from their rocky perches. But where are they now?

Today, yellow-bellied marmots are deep in hibernation, huddled together in their burrows. They’ll spend up to eight months a year asleep, perhaps dreaming of warm summer meadows and their next meal. To use their ample fat reserves efficiently, marmots let their body temperature drop as low as 41 degrees Fahrenheit, and their heart rate can plummet from an average of 200 beats per minute to only 30 beats per minute! Can you imagine spending a greater percentage of your life asleep than awake?


  1. But Sandy where are all the Sierran marmots–I rarely see them when I visit east/west YNP/Tahoe on a my annual trips thereabouts!? Contrast them with the more abundant Cascade/Olympic populations which i see northern CA, OR, and WA!


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