### Contest Info

• Started: 2/5/2009 17:00
• Ended: 2/8/2009 18:00
• Entries: 32
• Jackpot:
• $5 •$3
• $2 •$1
Contest Directions: On the Groundhog Day, February 2nd, 2009, Punxsutawney Phil saw its shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter. The National Climatic Data Center studied the statistics of such Groundhog Day predictions, and reported that the prediction accuracy rate is around 39%. Which is still higher than for most weather forecasters.
Photoshop groundhogs any way you wish. Some examples are - merge groundhogs with other animals or even celebrities, photoshop anything related to Groundhog Day, show how life would be different if groundhogs ruled the world. These are just some ideas.

### Contest Info

• Started: 2/5/2009 17:00
• Ended: 2/8/2009 18:00
• Entries: 32
• Jackpot:
• $5 •$3
• $2 •$1
This gallery only contains our top 27 selections from its parent contest Groundhogs. All 32 contest pictures can be viewed here.

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This contest is fueled by the following news: The groundhog (In Latin - Marmota monax) is a North American rodent of marmot squirrel family. Unlike many other kinds of marmots, like for example the yellow bellied and white marmot, which inhabit the mountain terrains, groundhogs prefers plain territories. External appearance: This is a small marmot: the body length of the adult individual is 41.8—66.5 cm, mass is – 3-5 kg. Male marmots are slightly bigger than female marmots. The body structure is tight with relatively short but powerful paws, which are capable of digging. The limb has five toes, on the front limbs the first toe is rudimentary. The tail is relatively short, 20—25% of the length of the body (10—15 cm), flattened and bushy covered with black or black-brownish hairs. The ears are small and in a round shape. The cheek bags are rudimentary. The fur is coarse with a bushy gray color under the fur. The color is dominantly reddish or reddish-brown with a deposition of white due to the bright tips over the hairs. The head and cheeks are free from white marks; a white spot is there near the nose. The lower part of the body is brighter. The feet are black, black-brown or (for sub type M. rose-brown. Young marmots have dark shades. There are special albino ones and absolute black ones. The shedding of hair for groundhogs takes place once a year from the end of May to August. Female marmots have 4 pairs of nipples but not 5 as other types of marmots. In the corners of the mouth there are buccal (altered sweat glands) glands, which emit odorous secretions which marmots of both sexes put labels; there are also 3 anal glands. Teeth formula: 22 = I {1 \over 1} C {0 \over 0} P {2 \over 1} M {3 \over 3}. The incisor teeth of marmots grow during their entire life, which results in case of their bad seaming in an improper bite and fasting. Area of distribution: In spite of its name in the Russian language, groundhogs inhabit open plains and the outskirts of forests but not in forests. Ground hogs — a widely spread type of American marmots. A huge part of its inhabitance is in the North-east and central states of the USA. You can see them starting from Central Alaska to Big Slave lake, South coast of the Hudson bay and along the river Churchill (Quebec). The sub type of Marmot monax ignava is spread in the Eastern part of the peninsula Labrador. Their natural habitat spreads over into the Eastern part of North America from New Scotland south towards the states of Georgia, Alabama, the North-west part of Luciana and Arkansas; from the Atlantic coast to the Great Plains (east part of Oklahoma). In the west, the natural habitat is located along the Rocky Mountains up to the North part of Idaho State. In general, the natural habitat of the groundhog is more than 2 500 000 km2. Life style and diet: Within the limits of its natural habitat, the groundhog settles in low lying forest-field ecotones by preferring to occupy forest terrains for hibernation and in the open – for feeding and reproduction. The deforestation and cultivation of the land in general benefit it because marmots frequently occupy the land being cultivated, by altering the small areas of forest or woodlands with herbaceous pastures. They also live in dry, sandy-loam and light loamy soils in clear forests, in forest glades and forest borders, in thick bushes and green planting, along the coasts of water reservoirs, in thick ravines, on pastures, close to the agricultural fields. We can also find them in coniferous forests. Unlike other North American types, the groundhog does not live in elevated areas. These wild animals rarely go to remote areas from their shelters. Burrows especially wintering are built in well drained areas, which are heated by sun. The winter burrows are built in forest terrain, usually at the inclination of hills; the summer burrows are generally located in the open plain areas including in fields. The average amount of earth thrown out to the surface during digging of the burrow is equal to 325 kg or 1 м3. Burrows of groundhogs have from 1 to 11 entrances; the main entrance as usual is easily noticeable owing to the ground and rocks thrown to the surface. The side entrances have a smaller dimension and are masked in better way; they may look like almost vertical entrances connected with the main tunnel. The permanent burrow of marmot tunnels leads to the nest chamber (up to 45 cm in diameter) covered with dry leaves and grass, which is generally located at the depth of 0.9 - 1.8 m. There are special lavatory chambers also. The overall length of the tunnels may reach 15 m. There may be up to 8 burrows in the territory occupied by an adult marmot. The home range of the marmot as a rule is small with an area of less than 2 hectares; areas of settled male marmots frequently spread over the places of winter hibernation of 1—3 adult female marmots, but do not cross with areas of other male marmots. Groundhogs manage a single territorial life style; there may be pairs and groups during reproduction. Rarely one pair of male and female marmots occupies a single burrow. Among all the types of marmots, groundhogs act as the most aggressive towards congeners including sexually matured females - towards other female marmots. Adult individuals as a rule run a settled life style, though on requirement may change their foodstuff areas; young female marmots generally roam from one place to another. Marmots living in adjacent areas set between themselves a dominating hierarchy. Predominately marmots are active during day time, though may be seen at dusk and even during night time. Early spring and autumn before hibernation is when their active peak comes during mid day; during the summer season active peaks may come during morning time and at the end of the day. For communication, marmots generally use a typical sharp whistle, which is audible at the distance of 200—300 m. rarely they issue a damped bark; during fights with congeners, they squeal. When they are on the surface, frequently they take a stud pose; similar behavior is observed for young marmots starting from the 37th day of life. During threats, they hide in the nearest burrow; generally move with the speed of not more than 3 km/hour but in case of danger they may accelerate up to 16 km/hour. If it is not possible to escape, marmots aggressively protect themselves using their teeth and front claws.
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