They are intelligent animals and have their own communication system which is quite complex.
They are burrowing rodents that live in large colonies in the grasslands of central and western North America. A Prairie Dog is a type of ground squirrel. They measure approximately 12-16 inches long and weigh between 1-3 pounds.
Quick Facts: –
- There are five different species of prairie dogs (black-tailed, white-tailed, Gunnison’s, Mexican and Utah).
- Their body is covered with brownish-grey fur. They have very small, round ears and a short tail.
- Despite of their small size they are fast and skilled fighters with sharp claws and powerful teeth.
- They mate just once a year in early winter. Depending on the species and geographic region, mating season takes place from February to April.
- Females go to the nursery burrow when they are ready to give birth.
- They have a gestation period of around 33-38 days and generally a litter of three to eight pups.
- They live in tightly-knit families that are called coteries.
- Prairie Dogs are herbivorous animals that eat different types of grass, seeds and roots during the day.
- They have natural predators including coyotes, badgers, eagles, hawks, foxes, and the black-footed ferret.
- There was a time when prairie dogs were the most abundant mammals in North America.