The Menzbier’s Marmot (Marmota menzbieri) is a large rodent mammal in the Sciuridae family of squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, marmots, and prairie dogs.
The Menzbier’s Marmot has a plump, heavy body, with long, dense red-brown fur. It has dark upper parts and rear parts, with pale underparts. It has a short tail. It has large eyes. It has large teeth for gnawing.
It measures 34-50 centimetres (13-20 inches) long.
It is native to Central Asia, in countries such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, northernTajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It prefers mountains, meadows and steppe regions.
There are two sub-species of the Menzbier’s Marmot,separated by the Pskem River: the Northern Menzbier’s Marmot (Marmota menzbieri menzbieri) and the Southern Menzbier’s Marmot (Marmota menzbieri zachidovi).
It lives in a burrow underground. It hibernates in winter.
It is herbivorous, eating seeds, grass, berries, lichen, moss, roots, and flowers.
It is a social animal. The female Menzbier’s Marmot gives birth to 3-4 young, after a pregnancy of 21-42 days. The young are altricial, which means that they are born hairless and blind. They gain their fur after 42-70 days.
[Location of photographs: Dushanbe Zoo, Tajikistan, and the Natural History Museum in Dushanbe]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM