Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus).Prairie dog sitting back
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Prairie Dog

Prairie dogs are small stout-bodied burrowing rodents with shallow cheek pouches native to both North and Central America. more...

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In 2003 they came to public attention in the U.S. because pet prairie dogs spread monkeypox, a mild variant of smallpox previously unknown in North America, to more than a dozen people. The prairie dogs apparently contracted the disease from a Gambian pouched rat in a Chicago-area pet store.

An average size is 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm) long. In the United States prairie dogs are primarily found west of the Mississippi River, but they have been introduced into a few eastern locales. All are herbivores, and in settled regions they sometimes damage crops severely. They have been eliminated from certain areas of the Great Plains where ranchers regard them as pests. The mass culling of the prairie dog lead to the near extinction of the black-footed ferret, which eats the prairie dog.

  • ORDER RODENTIA
  • Suborder Sciurognathi
    • FAMILY SCIURIDAE (Squirrels, chipmunks, marmots and prairie dogs)
      • Subfamily Sciurinae
        • Genus Cynomys
          • Gunnison's Prairie Dog, Cynomys gunnisoni
          • White-tailed Prairie Dog, Cynomys leucurus
          • Black-tailed Prairie Dog, Cynomys ludovicianus
          • Mexican Prairie Dog, Cynomys mexicanus
          • Utah Prairie Dog, Cynomys parvidens
        • About 35 other genera in subfamily

The White-tailed Prairie Dog was described by Ludvig/Louis, and was named after the 1805 Lewis and Clark Expedition where prairie dogs were first identified for scientific study.

Prairie dogs as food

Please see Taboo food and drink.

Prairie dogs' complex language

Dr. Con Slobodchikoff, who has studied prairie dog language for over 20 years, has made some very astonishing discoveries in this field. Prairie dogs have a very complex language that includes verbs, nouns, and adjectives. The language is not innate; baby prairie dogs must learn it, and different colonies have distinct "dialects." Three criteria that must be present in order for "noise" to be termed "language" are meaning, productivity (you can use the same words to make an infinite number of new communications), and displacement (you can use language to talk about things that aren't present). Dr. Slobodchikoff's research has proven that prairie dog language meets all criteria. The study of animal language is in an embyonic stage. There are new discoveries occurring every day.

Read more at Wikipedia.org


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Prairie Dog Song (ExLib) by Susan L. Roth; Cindy TrumborePrairie Dog Song (ExLib) by Susan L. Roth; Cindy Trumbore $4.22 National Geographic ~ April 1998, Prairie Dog, Orinoco River, Ozarks, RongelapNational Geographic ~ April 1998, Prairie Dog, Orinoco River, Ozarks, Rongelap $3.62
The Prairie Dog: Sentinel of the PlainsThe Prairie Dog: Sentinel of the Plains $6.00 Prairie Dog Town On Level by Harcourt School Publishers StaffPrairie Dog Town On Level by Harcourt School Publishers Staff $3.99
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Lewis and Clark: A Prairie Dog for the President (Step into Reading, Step 3)Lewis and Clark: A Prairie Dog for the President (Step into Reading, Step 3) $3.99 Prairie Dog Song: The Key to Saving North America's Grasslands-ExLibraryPrairie Dog Song: The Key to Saving North America's Grasslands-ExLibrary $3.98
Authentic Littlest Pet Shop - Hasbro Lps - Prairie Dog #3019Authentic Littlest Pet Shop - Hasbro Lps - Prairie Dog #3019 $2.75 Prairie Dog Rescue by Christine RicciPrairie Dog Rescue by Christine Ricci $3.99
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Lewis and Clark A Prairie Dog for the President by Shirley Raye RedmondLewis and Clark A Prairie Dog for the President by Shirley Raye Redmond $4.23 Adorable Zuni Standing Green Eyed Prairie Dog Fetish Carving Lorvin Kiyite 24Adorable Zuni Standing Green Eyed Prairie Dog Fetish Carving Lorvin Kiyite 24 $19.99
Where Are My Prairie Dogs and Black-footed Ferrets? (An Audub. by Bauer, ErwinWhere Are My Prairie Dogs and Black-footed Ferrets? (An Audub. by Bauer, Erwin $5.30 Laika - Prairie Dog (Lp/ remix by Maxwell House) Rare Promo Only Cd SingleLaika - Prairie Dog (Lp/ remix by Maxwell House) Rare Promo Only Cd Single $5.00
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Little Dogs on the Prairie: Pride, Prejudice and FudgeLittle Dogs on the Prairie: Pride, Prejudice and Fudge $40.38 Prairie Dog Rescue (Go, Diego, Go! Ready-to-Read Level 1)Prairie Dog Rescue (Go, Diego, Go! Ready-to-Read Level 1) $2.97
And Prairie Dogs Weren't Kosher : Jewish Women in the Upper Midwest since 1855And Prairie Dogs Weren't Kosher : Jewish Women in the Upper Midwest since 1855 $4.23 Deer Giant Antler Treat 8-9" Assorted Color Chew Toy All-Natural Treat Odor FreeDeer Giant Antler Treat 8-9" Assorted Color Chew Toy All-Natural Treat Odor Free $20.69
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