A lone marmot climbed atop a wooden fence on Blackcomb Peak near Whistler, British Columbia, sat upright and let out a couple of ear piercing screams. The mountain-dwelling squirrel probably wanted to warn others that the humans of Lone Goat Soap were nearby and filming.
Alpine marmots emit variable alarm calls when they encounter humans, dogs, and several species of aerial predators. The first part of the study involved observations and manipulations designed to document contextual variation in alarm calls. Alarm calls varied along several acoustic parameters, but only along one that we examined, the number of notes per call, was significantly correlated with the type of external stimulus.
YouTuber Homar Sánchez has created a couple of amusing mashups that incorporate the “screaming marmot” footage.