Black-tailed Prairie Dogs
Tucson, AZ~ ASDM~ Canon Powershot SX40HS, June 2013
Black-tailed Prairie Dogs have what may be the most complex social structure os any rodent in America. Their “towns” once covered thousands of square miles and contained millions of individuals. Though they have been exterminated throughout much of their range, they still occur in large colonies consisting of topographically based wards that are further subdivided into small breeding coteries. Members of these family groups defend their territory against outsiders but greet eachother by touching incisors.
One of the most vociferous of southwestern mammals, this heavy-set ground squirrel earned it’s name for its constant bark and black-tipped tail.