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.