Marmot, a large rodent of the squirrel family, and genus arctomys (Schreber). The body is thick and compressed, the head large and flattened, the legs short and stout, and the tail short, bushy, and nearly cylindrical; the inci-sors are less compressed than in the squirrels, smooth in front and rounded; the molars are (5/4)-(5/4), enamelled continuously, with transverse pointed tubercles, the first upper one the smallest; the ears are short and rounded, but dis-; tinct above the fur; the fore feet with four toes armed with sharp claws, and a very rudimentary thumb with a small flat nail instead of a claw; the hind feet five-toed, with strong curved claws; the soles are entirely naked; there are very shallow cheek pouches. The common European marmot (A. marmota, Schreb.) is 18 in. long, the tail 2 1/3 in.; the color is yellowish gray, with the top of the head dark gray, russet at the base of the tail, and incisors yellow. The form is clumsy, the movements slow, and the sagacity small; inhabiting the mountains of Europe near the snow line, they live in families in burrows, in which they pass the winter in a state of lethargy; the food is vegetable, during the search for which one animal is stationed as a sentinel near the burrow, into which all retreat at the signal of danger; the circular chamber for the family is approached by a narrow gallery 5 or 6 ft, long; they hibernate on beds of dried grass, and are very fat at the beginning and very lean at the end of this season; when fat they are metimes used by the mountaineers as food.
The Poland marmot (A. holme, Pall.) is somewhat larger, with more reddish tints. They burrow in the plains of less elevated districts in Poland, Russia, and northern Asia; they prefer dry and stony soils, into which they dig I very deeply, living in families of 30 or 40 and amassing largo quantities of dried grasses. Other marmots are described, which occasionally, as perhaps do all, feed upon birds and small quadrupeds. For the American marmot i A.monax, Grael.) see Woodchuck, its com-mon name. - Many animals of the allied genus spermophilus (Cuv.) are sometimes called marmots, but such come more properly under the head of prairie squirrels. The fur is thick and not very coarse, and is considerably used for common caps, robes, and similar objects.
Europeaan Marmot (Arctomys marmota).