All feed on the roots of grass; and when disturbed, like marmots, utter a whistling cry.
The various species of rapacious animals are disappearing, together with the colonies of marmots; the insectivores are also becoming scarce in consequence of the destruction of insects; while vermin, such as the suslik, or pouched marmot (Spermophilus), and the destructive insects which are a scourge to agriculture, become a real plague.
Characteristic forms of this order in northern Asia are the marmots (Arctomys) and the pikas, or tailless hares (Lagomys).
Among the rodents there are hares, marmots, beavers, squirrels, rats and mice, the last in enormous swarms. Of the larger game the chamois and deer are specially noticeable.
Wild yaks, wild asses (kulans), antelopes (orongo and others), marmots, hares and partridges exist locally in large numbers.