Prairie dogs have a language all their own. They’re not really dogs, they are really part of the marmot family, but they bark and yip like dogs, which is how they got their name.
Sophisticated research has found their language to be quite complex, as you can learn about in this Scientific American blog that is consistent with what I’d learned many years ago.
They give bark-like warnings to their colony-mates when they see a predator approaching, and that predator can be described uniquely. The colony’s call for a man is different, for example, upon seeing a man than it is when it sees a man with a shotgun or rifle.
I’ve seen prairie dogs routinely since I moved to Colorado many years ago, and I find them to be a precious part of the ecology. I was disappointed to learn that 98% of their former size has been lost to car traffic, farming, ranching, and housing developments.
They are fighting to keep their species a member of the ecology, and they have been losing. They are wonderfully animated figures that are a major part of the prairie food chain.
They feed the foxes, coyotes, hawks, and eagles. It’s a wonder that they have endured as much as they have. Luckily they are pretty prolific, and the babies are precious.
As spirit guides, prairie dogs signify communication and family, the traits most closely affiliated with them.
This post is to celebrate the black-tailed prairie dogs in my area and a salute to a hardy species. They’re an underdog in the fight against urban growth, but my bets are on them.
Click on the pictures, below to see them large. Those little squirts are really cute!
#prairie dog, #nature, #Colorado, #animals, #spirit guides, #spring