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Help identify this animal [SOLVED] (Its probably a hoary marmot)

OliverOliver Registered User regular
edited September 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
Early last week my wife and I were doing a hike in Grand Teton National Park. We were moving up paintbrush canyon and were at approximately 8500' elevation when we saw an animal climbing up a rock face. We estimated that it was about 36" long (including tail), and guessed that it weighed somewhere between 20 and 30 pounds. It was all black except for some whitish fur around its face and snout, and had a tail that was probably 12-16" long. It stayed pretty close to the rock the whole time it climbed so we didn't get a good look at its legs.

Some pics:

FaceZoom.jpg

MainZoom.jpg

Full size images here: http://s658.photobucket.com/albums/uu306/burkhart70/Unknown Animal/

What do you think?

Oliver on

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    DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Looks like a wolverine

    DirtyDirtyVagrant on
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    MrMonroeMrMonroe passed out on the floor nowRegistered User regular
    I agree

    they're like little bears it's so cute

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    EWomEWom Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    I disagree, it doesn't have the same facial profile or paw structure of a wolverine. Also as far as I'm aware Grand Teton National Park is out of the wolverines range, being located mostly in the northern states, and canada.

    Looks more like a marmot to me.

    Hoary-Marmot-Basking-in-the-Sun.jpg

    EWom on
    Whether they find a life there or not, I think Jupiter should be called an enemy planet.
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    CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Damn; double post. Ignore.

    CycloneRanger on
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    CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    I'm 90% sure it's a black marmot and you've overestimated its size.

    Some marmots (black and otherwise):
    http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTykydvDZj7YNkwOZ6Nn-6nIH9QYv_1OV_TJlVB4Slj-CTZ6D4wjHWgBuqqAQ
    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Images/Pic/2007-08-20_18-16-42.jpg
    This one's from the location you mentioned, but is lighter-colored:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4a/Marmot_in_Grand_Teton_NP-NPS.jpg

    That's pretty much exactly the terrain I'd expect to see a marmot on, and you can be sure it's not a wolverine--there are like fifty total in the US.

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    NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    I'm pretty sure thats not a wolverine as well, and for the record
    MrMonroe wrote:
    I agree

    they're like little bears it's so cute

    Wolverines will straight up murder you and your whole family if they hear you called them cute.

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    OliverOliver Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Interesting, we guessed wolverine at first, but the coloring didn't seem right.

    we saw several marmots on the same hike, all were brown in color. I didn't realize that black marmots existed, but that guy does look like what we saw. I really don't think we overestimated the size though, we saw the brown marmots from about the same distance and this guy was way bigger. Maybe we just saw a freakishly large one I guess.

    Oliver on
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    CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    Oliver wrote:
    Interesting, we guessed wolverine at first, but the coloring didn't seem right.

    we saw several marmots on the same hike, all were brown in color. I didn't realize that black marmots existed, but that guy does look like what we saw. I really don't think we overestimated the size though, we saw the brown marmots from about the same distance and this guy was way bigger. Maybe we just saw a freakishly large one I guess.
    Well, you might have seen two different species of marmot. The yellow-bellied marmot tops out at 3.9 kg according to Wikipedia, while the hoary marmot (which is what EWom posted) can grow to 10 kg; you'd only have needed to overestimate it a little.

    Northern Wyoming would be at the southernmost edge of the hoary marmot's range.

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    OliverOliver Registered User regular
    Oliver wrote:
    Interesting, we guessed wolverine at first, but the coloring didn't seem right.

    we saw several marmots on the same hike, all were brown in color. I didn't realize that black marmots existed, but that guy does look like what we saw. I really don't think we overestimated the size though, we saw the brown marmots from about the same distance and this guy was way bigger. Maybe we just saw a freakishly large one I guess.
    Well, you might have seen two different species of marmot. The yellow-bellied marmot tops out at 3.9 kg according to Wikipedia, while the hoary marmot (which is what EWom posted) can grow to 10 kg; you'd only have needed to overestimate it a little.

    Northern Wyoming would be at the southernmost edge of the hoary marmot's range.

    Yep, I bet you are right, I didn't see the bit about the hoary marmots size. That's got to be it. Thanks!

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