Marmots scream in alarm when predators are nearby.

If you’ve ever been hiking in the western mountains North America, there’s a decent chance you’ve seen a marmot. Head near the top of a high peak, where the land seems desolate, and you might see one or several of the large rodents. Do you know what they sound like, though? If you just heard one in the distance, would you be able to tell that it’s a marmot, rather than a bird?

They may be at the bottom of the food chain, having to worry about grizzly bears, cougars, wolves, coyote, and even birds of prey. But they have one of the loudest, most piercing, almost chilling screams in the mountains. Finding the right basin and you can listen to hoards of them. When they scream, it is a full body dry heave!

Marmots actually make a whole series of noises, from whistles to the full body scream. The high pitched trill heard in the above video acts as a warning alarm when predators are nearby. So if you see one screaming, there’s a chance they’re screaming because of you. Nonetheless, these high alpine creatures might be one of the goofiest animals out there.

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