Alpine Marmot
(Marmota marmota)

Distribution map

Whole brain photographs
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Coronal section through middle of brain
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Physical characteristics and distribution

The Alpine Marmot has a thick body with short legs and dense fur. The fur is short, smooth and yellowish brown on the body. Fur around on the head and nape is gray and the nose is white. The tail is short and hairy, ending in a black tuft. Body length is 50-60 cm and the tail length is 13-16 cm.

It generally lives in open areas such as meadows or forest edge. Marmots spend most of their lives in deep burrows, hibernating up to nine months of the year. The diet consists mainly of green vegetation like grasses but may also include fruits, grains and insects.

Alpine Marmots live in groups of 10-15 individuals. Sentries stand guard over the group and will emit a distinctive whistle to alert the group of danger. The mating season begins in early spring and the young are born in early summer. The single litter contains 2-6 offspring.

Marmota marmota occurs in the Swiss, Italian, and French Alps; W Austria; S Germany; Carpathian (Romania) and the Tatra Mtns (Czech Republic, Poland); intorduced into the French Pyrenees, E Austria nd N Serbia and Montenegro.

Description of the brain

Animal source and preparation
All specimens collected followed the same preparation and histological procedure.

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