We’re Here for You Marmots – Rocky Mountain National Park

What does the Puss ‘n  Boots and the tiny rock creatures in Galaxy Quest have in common?  The answer is they frighten me.  No, I know they are not clowns, but they have the ability to be charming and cute while they are scheming to kill you.  Puss ‘N Boots would take off his hat, expand the eyes to capture his victim off guard and the pounces on them with saber in hand.  Those cute looking rock creatures are all smurf like until one shows a weakness and they pounce on it and tear it to shreds with their fangs and claws.  Why am I bothering to tell you this?  The reason is I encountered a new creature on visit to the Rocky Mountain National Park that creeps me out in a similar manner.   Here it is in stealth mode:

Yellow-Bellied Marmot

Did you find it?  Here is a hint:

Yellow-Bellied Marmot

According to my National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Rocky Mountain States, this devious creature is a Marmot.  In my opinion he looks like a groundhog or possibly a beaver with a furry tale instead of the paddle.  Apparently, it is a member of the squirrel family which puts it in the Yosemite Sam Varmint category.  There is an error in this guide as it states that the Marmot’s habitat is below 11,000 feet.  This picture was taken at 12,000 feet on the Tundra trail.

Upon first look, it is all soft and cuddly like.  He would probably curl up in your lap and softly chirp (straight from the guide) away.

Yellow-Bellied Marmot

But there is definitely a demon side to this creature.  Take the jump to see a couple more pictures of the Marmot

First off, this animal is quite comfortable hanging out on a rock cliff  at over 12,000 feet.  I do not trust any animal that has less fear than I do (and no I do not trust the mountain goat).  Clearly this is a survivalist species with McGuyver skills.

Yellow-Bellied Marmot - Hanging on a rock cliff

It doesn’t look the least bit worried – even if the trees are soooo far down that they are blurry.  Quite the contrary, this marmot is actually plotting to overthrow the human race.  Much like Puss ‘n Boots, it will widen the eyes and draw us in closer only to reach out with their strong claws (as stated in the guide), latch onto some loose clothing and hurl us to a rocky death below.  Once immobilized the rock creatures will swarm over our carcass and start gnashing away on our juicy tendons.  He knows it is true, I know it is reality and based on the demon look in this shot I know he knows I know what schemes are being formed inside that furry skull.

Yellow-Bellied Marmot - Evil Gaze

Just look at that evil grin.  Pure evil in the same league as the clown.  You have been warned people, your fate is in their paws.

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