The long-tailed marmot or golden marmot (Marmota caudata) is a species of marmot in the Sciuridae family. It is found in high mountain areas of Pakistan above 3000 meters.

Marmots are large ground squirrels in the genus Marmota, of which there are 15 species. Those most often referred to as marmots tend to live in mountainous areas. Marmots typically live in burrows and hibernate there through the winter. Most marmots are highly social and use loud whistles to communicate with one another, especially when alarmed.

Marmots mainly eat greens and many types of grasses, berries, lichens, mosses, roots and flowers.

Marmots have been known since antiquity. Research by the French ethnologist Michel Peissel claimed the story of “gold-digging ants” reported by the Ancient Greek historian Herodotus, who lived in the 5th century BC, was founded on the golden Himalayan marmot of the Deosai Plateau and the habit of local tribes such as the Minaro to collect the gold dust excavated from their burrows.

Golden Marmot used under CC BY / Desaturated from original

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