Linzey, Donald W. Wytheville Community College, Wytheville, Virginia.
Last reviewed:July 2016
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- Habitat loss
- Relationship with the black-footed ferret
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A type of fossorial ground squirrel belonging to the genus Cynomys in the family Sciuridae in the order Rodentia. Prairie dogs are stout, short-tailed, short-legged ground squirrels that inhabit open plains, short-grass prairies, and plateaus in the western part of North America from Canada to Mexico. The short coarse fur of these mammals is grayish-brown. They have small beady eyes, pouched cheeks, and a short flat tail. Adults have a head-body length of 280–330 mm (11–13 in.) and a tail length of 30–115 mm (1.2–4.5 in.). They weigh 0.7–1.4 kg (1.5–3 lb). See also: Mammalia; Rodentia; Squirrel
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