Information about: Prairie Dog

Index | Prairie Dog

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Prairie Dog. The name given to two species of small rodent animals of the squirrel family, found in America, on the plains east of the Rocky mountains from the Canadian border to the Red river and Rio Grande, and on the western slope in Colorado and Utah. They much resemble their allies, the marmots, in appearance, and have well-developed claws on all the toes of the fore feet. The best known species is about one foot in length, and has a tail of about four inches. On the upper surface it is reddish-brown variegated with gray. These animals live together in great societies on those portions of the prairies where their favorite food, the buffalo grass, grows luxuriantly. Here they excavate burrows in the ground in contiguity to each other, and, when the little creatures are out, quite a busy scene is presented. The name prairie dog is given to the animal on account of a resemblance which is supposed to exist between its cry and the bark of a small dog.