Prairie Dog, White-tailed
The White-Tailed Prairie Dog, scientifically called Cynomys Leucurus, is not a very large mammal. It extends approximately 13 to 15 inches in length and weighs anywhere between 1 and 3 pounds. This small, short rodent has a short, white-tipped tail and large eyes. Called Prairie Dog because of its characteristic barking call, this prairie dog is tan-brown in color. It also has a blackish cheek patch above and below each eye.
White-tailed Prairie Dogs can be found in Wyoming, Western Colorado and Southern Montana. Often found at altitudes ranging between 5,000 and 10,000 feet, these dogs live in desert grasslands and shrub grasslands.
This dog's diet mainly consists of grasses and bulbs. They also eat blossoms, weeds, forbs and roots, depending on availability.
This Prairie Dog is diurnal. This species hibernates in winter and will tend to lay dormant for periods of cold weather. These dogs also have a complex mating system and will typically form homes that consist of several females and a male along with young. These 'homes' or burrows are well constructed and have funneled shaped entrances that measures 3 to 4 inches in diameter. These tunnels can get so intricate that they extend up to 100 feet in length.
A Prairie Dog female typically has one litter a year. They mate in April or March months and the young are born in May. There are usually 3 to 5 young ones per litter and they are born blind and hairless. Not for long though. By June they begin emerging from their burrows.
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