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(Ochotona princeps)


Category: Mammals



This species of pika is active during the daytime and found in the mountains of Western North America. They are small, herbivorous cousins of rabbits and hares. They can often be seen inhabiting piles of rock in alpine areas and eat a wide variety of green plants including grasses, thistles, sedges, and fireweed. When caching food for winter they stay very busy, making upwards of 100 trips a day gathering plant material for their dens. They are quite selective regarding the nutritional content of the food they collect for storage.



Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Mammalia
Order - Lagomorpha
Family - Ochotonidae
Genus - Ochotona

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Interesting Animal Facts

Wake me in 9 months…

There may be times when you are so tired you feel as if you could sleep for several days - but of course that is not possible without dying from dehydration. However, some mammals have such fine control over their metabolisms, they are capable of nodding off for days or even months, in a state called hibernation. This helps an animal survive during cold periods when food is scarce. A prime example is the alpine marmot who can hibernate for up to 9 months of the year: gathering food and adding about 50% more body weight (primarily fat) as summer ends, the alpine marmot seals itself in a deep burrow, heart rate slowing to five beats per minute, breathing as little as once per minute - emerging (far lighter!) in May, when food is once again available!

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