All feed on the roots of grass; and when disturbed, like marmots, utter a whistling cry.
The cheek-teeth are more complex than those of marmots, and the two series converge behind.
In their slender build and :small size, prairie-marmots are much more like sousliks than marmots.
In habits these rodents are very like marmots, the typical species inhabiting the open prairies, while the others are found in mountains.
In addition to their stout build and long thickly haired tails, marmots are characterized by the absence of cheek-pouches, and the rudimentary first front-toe, which is furnished with a flat nail, as well as by certain features of the skull and cheek-teeth.