Switzerland. 10 Francs. Bimetal. Alpine Marmot. Uncirculated

10 Franc Bimetal Swiss National Parks: Alpine Marmot. Uncirculated

The nimble marmots never cease to fascinate the many visitors hiking in the National Park, whether for their cute manner, shrill whistling or scraps reminiscent of exhibition fights. In the harsh mountain climate, the marmots only find enough food to sustain them from May to September. In order to survive the six-month winter hibernation, during the summer, they eat to build up a thick layer of fat. At the beginning of October, the marmots retreat to their well-padded dormitory. By reducing body functions, their energy consumption drops to one tenth of its normal level.

Marmots spend 90 per cent of their lives in their extensive networks of burrows, safe from the cold and predators. They establish several entrances to enable them to beat a hasty retreat. Thanks to their sense of touch, marmots are very much at home in the dark.

Marmots live in family groups, each with an adult male and female as well as several young animals. In May, 34 days after mating, the female gives birth to between two and six naked, blind and deaf young, each weighing around 30 grams.

The habitat of the Alpine marmots extends from the Alpine meadows above the tree line as far as the glaciers. In the National Park, they are especially common in the Val Trupchun and on Munt la Schera.

Hans Lozza, Swiss National Park

Mintage: 94,000

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