Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Rose by Any Other Name? Part 4

Imagine my disappointment when my research revealed that this Rocky Mountain marmot which I had photographed in the high mountains is also known as a "Woodchuck, Groundhog, Whistlepig, or Marmota monax of North America." I had thought he was somehow more exotic than the similar creature from my area.

Why is he so cute here sitting on the edge of the rock studying me and NOT so cute when he is eating away at my cone flowers in my front yard and then lumbering his fat butt under my deer fence? Actually this one IS cuter. His face is a little different shape and his coloring is more interesting...don't tell my groundhog I wrote that thought...PLEASE. (Click on photo for a closer reveal.)

5 comments:

Annie in Austin said...

Thanks for this, Tabor - you make me rethink my statement that we'd seen marmots in the Tetons - those were Pikas as seen in your previous post. I knew that 30 years ago but forgot it last week!

We saw marmots on Hurricane Ridge in WA - they were cuter...and seem to be in the same genus as the Marmota monax/Woodchucks that devastated gardens in Illinois, but a different species, perhaps Marmota caligata, the hoary marmot of the NW US.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

karin said...

Ah, Tabor, you divert me. I have spent the past hour finally finding out that marmots and pikas are in different Orders. Marmots are in the Order Rodentia and Pikas are in the order Lagomorpha along with rabbits. And locals everywhere have their own names for them. But it's nice to know that rabbits aren't rodents. Sorry that the marmots are related to mice but I still love them.

Kerry said...

Marmots can whistle better than I can.

Linda said...

This little guy sure blends in with the colors in the rocks and could be easily missed. I enlarged the photo and I really loved the shapes and textures of the rocks surrounding this marmot. I have an old cedar tree rising above my cone flowers. Raccoons jump out of the cedar, squashing the cone flowers on their way to ravage my recycling. It's a fragile existence for cone flowers.=D

Hilary said...

What a cutie.. no matter the name.

Strangely enough, the word verification says "ratoptic"