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  • Writer's pictureDay Scott

Barking Burrowers

*Photo Featured on Animals Planet*

White-tailed Prairie Dog Cynomys leucurus

Meet the most intelligent member of the Scuiridae (squirrel) family, the Prairie Dog. I’m absolutely fascinated by these sensational social squirrels. In addition to being a keystone species, they have their own complex language and even kiss to greet each other. The Prairie Dog’s family dynamics are absolutely wild! They burrow in underground colonies that include sleeping quarters, toilets and nurseries. They live in family groups called coteries which hosts one or two males and lots of laaaadies. Males may entertain several coteries while females stick together for life, supporting each other and the kids. These coteries are grouped by wards and make up what is known as prairie dog towns. Prairie Dogs live in grasslands and are primarily found west of the Mississippi River.

I spent time with these barking burrowers at a rest stop. They were extremely friendly and followed me around the parking lot, expecting food I’m sure. Their genus name Cynonyms derives from the Greek and translates into “mouse dog”. 🐭🐶


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