Grassland Animals

Black-tailed Prairie Dog
Black-tailed Prarie Dog
Class: Mammalia: Mammals  Diet: Grass 
Order: Rodentia: Rodents 
Size: body: 28 - 32 cm (11 - 12 1/2 in), tail: 8.5 - 9.5 cm (3 1/4 - 3 3/4 in) 
Family: Sciuridae: Squirrels  Conservation Status: Lower risk - Near threatened
Scientific Name: Cynomys ludovicianus  Habitat: grassland (prairie) 
Range: Central USA 

Size of Black-tailed Prairie DogThe prairie dog derives its common name from its stocky, terrierlike appearance and from its sharp, doglike bark, which it utters to herald danger. One of the most social rodent species, prairie dogs live in underground burrows, called towns, containing several thousand individuals. They emerge by day to graze on grass and other vegetation and can often cause serious damage to cattle ranges. Feeding is regularly interrupted for bouts of socializing, accompanied by much chattering. Females give birth to litters of up to 10 young during March, April or May, after a 4-week gestation. After being weaned at 7 weeks, the young disperse to the edge of the town. Prairie dogs are commonly preyed on by eagles, foxes and coyotes.

Range of Black-tailed Prairie Dog
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