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Bobak Marmot

The bobak marmot (Marmota bobak), also known as the steppe marmot, is a species of marmot that inhabits the steppes of Russia and Central Asia.

The bobak marmot is a large analog of the North American prairie dog. It has a particularly round potbelly and a laid-back alert posture. Unlike most other species, bobak marmots prosper on rolling grasslands and on the edge of cultivated fields. They are active for about five and a half months each year. It dispersers leave their natal social group after their second hibernation. Litter sizes average a little over five, and it takes at least three years to reach sexual maturity. About 60% of adult females breed in a given year. They have a single alarm call. Studies have demonstrated that bobak marmots call faster when they live in steep terrain and slower when they live in flatter terrain.

Like other marmots, the bobak is susceptible to infection by bubonic plague. A population of bobaks living in the Ural Mountains is believed to have served as a reservoir host for the bubonic plague. This epidemic struck western Russia at the end of the 19th century.

Bobak Marmot


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