Black-Tailed Prairie Dog

Teresa Zieba

Winnipeg, Canada

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Artist's Description

Featured in Squirells & Chipmunks – Feb 3rd, 2010
Featured in AMERICAS ~ Rural, Urban, Wild, Free – May 22nd, 2009

Photographed in Winnipeg Zoo.

Canon XSi, f/5.6, 1/1600sec, ISO-800, focal length-300mm

Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are tough, social animals that live in and around burrows deep within the prairie soil. They are tan with a whitish or buff-white belly. The tips of their tails are sparsely covered by black hair. They have short ears and, compared to their body size, relatively large black eyes. Prairie dogs live from 3 to 5 years.
Although often confused with ground squirrels (mistakenly called gophers), prairie dogs (five species) are distinct and found only in North America. They become axceedingly fat by fall and hibernate over winter for up to six months in burrows up to 5 metres deep. During mild winters, some ZOO prairie dogs continue to appear above ground.
It’s name Cynomys means “dog-mouse” – a reference to its barking calls used to alert colony members of approaching predators.

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Artwork Comments

  • LeslieBattjes
  • Teresa Zieba
  • kathy s gillentine
  • Teresa Zieba
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  • Al Bourassa
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  • Teresa Zieba
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