We first encountered prairie dogs at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive and Keelboat Visitor Center (and rest stop!) in Chamberlain, South Dakota.
There were prairie dogs cut out of metal sheeting...
...as well as the taxidermied variety.
Before reaching the Badlands, we saw a giant prairie dog outside a gift shop. Because: kitsch.
We saw tons of actual prairie dogs in Badlands National Park and also at Devil's Tower National Monument, including this happy little fellow...
|(Kinda looks like he's smoking a cigarette, doesn't it?)|
... and this smart guy, who was catching some shade under one of the information signs.
The thing I found really interesting is that the Lewis & Clark exhibit had some info about how the explorers "discovered" the coyote, and they were trying to find a name for it. They referred to it as a "prairie wolf" and described it as being the size "of a gray fox with a bushy tail" and said it "barks like a small dog." I do wonder why they didn't name the coyote the "prairie dog" instead of the little guys that ended up with the name. I mean... prairie dogs are cute and all - but not as cute as dogs!
I dunno... if it was me, I probably would have named them something else. Not sure what. "Prairie rodent" seems a little mean. They look kind of like a fat chipmunk, so maybe "prairie chipmunk." Thoughts?
Hope you enjoyed this post about a very different kind of dog!
Thanks to BlogPaws for hosting Wordless Wednesday! Stop by their site to check out all of the other blogs in the hop.
I've always thought prairie dogs were adorable but I'm with you, I don't see the dog correlation. Love those pudgy bellies though!ReplyDelete
The pudgy bellies kill me! :)Delete
Haha, they look nothing like a dog, why would they name it like that :D? They are really adorable!!ReplyDelete
Aren't they? We saw SO many!Delete
I have actually seen a prairie dog in person, but have always wondered about the name, too! They are very cute and that one does look like he is smoking. LOLReplyDelete
Just having a little smoke break. :)Delete
My mom loves to watch prairie dogs. She says they are adorable. Coyotes are interesting, but usually look like mangy dogs.ReplyDelete
Maybe you'd enjoy chasing a prairie dog, Emma - almost as much as a wabbit??Delete
I think prairie dogs are so cute and it's cool you got to see so many. I actually thought the one was putting his finger up to his mouth and saying "Shhh...." until I watched it closely.ReplyDelete
I think he was flirting with me. That prairie dog had swagger.Delete
Lol...I laughed at the giant prairie dog too, Ya Kitch. When we saw the prairie dogs in the bad lands, the coolest part was the burrowing owls. I think they take over a whole in the ground, and use it for their nest.ReplyDelete
Oh, didn't know about the burrowing owls. Interesting!Delete
Prairie dogs have a warning call that sounds like the bark of a dog...hence the name :-) Actually the locals (esp. cattle farmers whose cattle break their legs in the burrows) hate those critters and sadly they are used for target practice quite often :-(ReplyDelete
We heard a lotta that call - I even took a video of it to catch the sound. I guess it sounds like a dog if the dog is a yorkie or pom or some such. :)Delete
That is sad about the target practice! :(
We have a village of prairie dogs on the edge of town. They are cute and friendly. We are worried that something will be built there and they will lose their homes.ReplyDelete
Oooh! Hope they don't lose their spot! They are friendly little things.Delete
I can honestly say, growing up in NYC and even traveling around as a military spouse - I have never ever seen a prairie dog. This was interesting.ReplyDelete
Ya know, now that I think about it - I'm not sure if I'd ever seen one before this trip. Maybe a long time ago as a kid??Delete
It is a strange name for a rodent. My dogs always want to chase the prairie dogs when we see them.ReplyDelete
Oh, man, if Rita had been with us, I'm sure she would have totally tried to chase them!Delete
there so cute!ReplyDelete
They are indeed!Delete
They look more like the gophers and groundhogs we have here.ReplyDelete
"Prairie gopher" would be a good name for them. :)Delete
At least that is one kind of dog that will never chase me. MOL!ReplyDelete
Sarah and Shadow
Haha - yes, that's for sure! You could even chase it!Delete
Interesting I bet the people aren't happy that little critter made the 4000 mile trip, they can be a nuisance. Cool exhibitReplyDelete
I can see how they'd be a problem - there were SO many of them!Delete
Brought back found memories of the summer I was 16 (many, many years ago) and was in that part of the world.ReplyDelete
I hadn't been there since I was about 14 - and that was also many many MANY years ago! :)Delete
FYI we live 30 minutes from Ottawa in Quebec. I work in Ottawa. Because we are so close to Ontario, there are a lot of anglophones and bilingual people, so while I was initially terrified of the French (I speak like 5 words but my husband is fairly bilingual), it honestly isn't a problem. If you are going to be around, drop me a line, would love to meet for coffee!Delete
I vote for "prairie chipmunks"! They sure are cute, aren't they? 😊ReplyDelete
Okay, I'm starting a petition to change the name. :)Delete
If you ask me, they look more like an otter. I'm not sure what L&C were thinking, maybe they were smoking some of Sacajawea's peace pipe. :-)ReplyDelete
hahaha.. That must be it!Delete
Hmm, you bring up an interesting question. Never really thought about it since we have them all over the Front Range in Colorado. They do have this cute little yip kind of a bark, so maybe that's why? 😊ReplyDelete
I've never seen one in person. Mr. N would love chasing them down though!ReplyDelete
How about prairie cat? Ahem! Maybe not!! I have never seen one of those, but The Staff seems to remember from pre-history that she once saw one in a zoo!ReplyDelete
They are cute in a rodent sort of way, but I have to admit that I am not a fan because of the diseases they carry (black death). Although I think the ones that most notably carry plague are a different variety than you encountered.ReplyDelete
hello pooch smooches its dennis the vizsla dog hay those littel guys reemind me of the skwirrels wot liv on the hill owtside the fense and tawnt me to no end!!! perhaps the skwirrels ar sum sort of advanse gard for invayding prairie dogs!!! ok byeReplyDelete