S: Prairie Dogs
FC: Prairie Dogs | By: Maddie Hulse
1: Description | Prairie dogs are rodents with broad, rounded heads, hairy tails, and short legs. They are yellowish in color, with darker ears and a pale buff to whitish belly. Prairie Dogs have whitish patches on the sides of their nose, their upper lips and around their eyes in the form of a ring. They are about 11-13 inches long and weigh about 1.5-3 lbs. They live about 3-5 years.
2: Range | Throughout most of the western United States from Canada to Mexico -- Montana, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming -- including higher elevations of the Mojave, Great Basin and Chihuahuan deserts. | Throughout most of the western United States from Canada to Mexico including higher elevations of the Mojave, Great Basin and Chihuahuan deserts.
3: Types of Prairie Dogs | Black-tailed Prairie Dog White-tailed Prairie Dog Gunnison's Prairie Dog Mexican Prairie Dog Utah Prairie Dog
4: Habitat | Short and medium grass prairies and plateaus of the American West.
5: Food and Hunting | Prairie Dogs are almost exclusively vegetarian. The many native plants of the Great Plains make up the Prairie Dog's primary diet. It consists of all kinds of grasses, roots, weeds, forbs, insects and blossoms. They get all of their water from the food they eat.
6: Breeding | One litter is born to a female each year. There are usually 3 to 5 youngsters in a litter, but sometimes as many as 8. The young are blind and hairless. Their eyes don't open for 33 to 37 days. At about 6 weeks, they begin to appear above ground and are ready to be weaned. They separate from the mother by early fall.
7: Interesting Facts | Prairie dog burrows are called towns. Most prairie dogs hibernate in the winter. They got their name because of their high-pitched bark. Prairie dogs belong to the squirrel family. Prairie dogs make a variety of sounds to identify different predators. In 1900, a huge Prairie Dog settlement was reported on the high plains of Texas containing an estimated 400 million Prairie Dogs.