All feed on the roots of grass; and when disturbed, like marmots, utter a whistling cry.
Post-orbital processes of the frontals exist in squirrels, marmots and hares; but in all other genera they are rudimentary or altogether absent; and the zygoma seldom sends upwards a corresponding process, so that the orbit is more or less completely continuous with the temporal fossa.
The Carnivora include bears, wolverines, wolves, raccoons, foxes, sables, martens, skunks, kolinskis, fitch, fishers, ermines, cats, sea otters, fur seals, hair seals, lions, tigers, leopards, lynxes, jackals, &c. The Rodentia include beavers, nutrias, musk-rats or musquash, marmots, hamsters, chinchillas, hares, rabbits, squirrels, &c. The Ungulata include Persian, Astrachan, Crimean, Chinese and Tibet lambs, mouflon, guanaco, goats, ponies, &c. The Marsupialia include opossums, wallabies and kangaroos.
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).