The female Marmot greets the early male visitor. (Photo: Stam Zervanos)
Vorlesen Male marmots interrupt their hibernation in late winter for a small tour. They inspect their territory and make a first visit to the marmot ladies in their area. This will improve their future mating chances, an American biologist suspects. For four years, Stam Zervanos of Penn State University had observed the hibernation of 32 wild marmots. Marmots hibernate from early November to early March? the males on average ten days shorter than the females. During this period of rest, the animals occasionally wake up, but remain under construction and lie down again to fall into hibernation again.

If a female marmot wakes up in the spring, she already dares to venture outside, but remains in the immediate vicinity of his cave. Wake the males but towards the end of hibernation, they leave their construction and go on a tour, reports Penn State University.

One of the males observed by Zervanos even moved nearly 300 yards from his own structure to visit a nearby female. This also got up and the couple spent about two days together before the male moved on to visit another female. After that, all three marmots went back to sleep in their own building before finally rising in March. The biologist says that mating did not take place during these visits.

With this behavior, the marmots men secure their territory and make initial ties with their future female. For the females, the visits are a good opportunity to see the possible partner and to check the availability of feed. As a result, the animals optimize the conditions and timing for the upcoming mating season, Zervanos suspects. display

ddp / bdw - Cornelia Pfaff

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