Japanese pika, cute 'living fossils,' prepare for winter Hokkido

By The Yomiuri Shimbun
(Credit: The Yomiuri Shimbun)

A Japanese pika forages for food in Daisetsuzan National Park in the Tokachi region of Hokkaido. Measuring about 15 centimeters from nose to rump, the furry mammals have been called "living fossils," as they are believed to have first arrived in the area during the Ice Age, when Japan was connected to the Eurasian Continent. Around this time of year, the high-pitched squeaks of the pika take on an elevated urgency, as the creatures busily scurry around their rocky mountain burrows, stockpiling leaves and moss in preparation for the cold winter months ahead.

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