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16 August 2009 @ 11:15 am
Rocky Mountain National Park - Marmots!  
Marmots in the Alpine Tundra zone of the Rocky Mountain National Park were a crazy bunch and I think they deserved a separate post of their own for the show they put on.

Marmots - The Kiss!

That photograph alone will not tell the story and is open to interpretation by the viewer. It does look like the marmots are kissing but they're not. Marmots are the largest true hibernators and all marmots except the woodchuck are social animals, so this group was perhaps a family. But even in social groups there are frequent fights for food and dominance and I think this was one such case. Here's the full story (according to me anyway and which may be corrected if a marmot expert says otherwise!):

One marmot has found something to eat and has staked claim to a nice little spot

And begins eating

Another marmot doesn't like something about it and attacks...

... and a fight begins

Round 1 to intruder

But the intruder won't get away with it just yet

More intense fighting begins

Intruder is on the verge of giving up...

...and does so by running away

kejnkejn on August 16th, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
thank you! :)

love #7! the one that looks like he is being pulled up by his collar. one could really put a funny caption to that. :)

KrisKatskitty_kitty on August 16th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC)
These are awesome action shots! Prairie dogs do something similar with the kissing. They'll be mouth to mouth, sometimes bending their bodies in comma shapes to make themselves look bigger, and then they'll scrap or someone will chicken out and run off. It reminds me of teddy bears wrestling. ;)
depontideponti on August 16th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
Wonderful Yathin...wish you'd got a video of it all...just riveting!
Yathinyathin on August 16th, 2009 08:22 pm (UTC)
Nope, just photographs since all this happened in seconds. :-)
Origaoriga on August 16th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
They do really seem to be kissing! :) Wow!
Sajith T Ssajith on August 17th, 2009 10:32 am (UTC)
Himalayan marmots also do pretty much the same thing all the time. They too are really cute to watch. You can watch them hours and never get bored. Wish I was carrying longer a lens in Markha valley.

(In fact, I think himalayan marmots win hands down in the cute department... they've got cleaner fur than this.)
Aparna: Animalsinspirethoughts on August 17th, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
I could not stop laughing at the shots. Reminded me of my two brothers when they were young. (I seriously hope they are not on your f-list..else I run for my life)!
(Anonymous) on September 4th, 2009 12:04 am (UTC)
your photos are boring and dull.
Yathinyathin on September 4th, 2009 06:58 am (UTC)
thanks for the opinion. they aren't interesting to everyone. and they are just documentation of my travels and not meant to be "photography" photographs.