Last Thursday we visited Devils Tower on our way down to Denver.

It was my first time taking in this sacred space and I loved every minute of it.

On our way out we urgently pulled over to take in the community of prairie dogs.

Sadly and probably fortunately they are not really ‘pets’ available for sale. ????

Please don’t feed them as they are quite adept at foraging for roots, seeds, grasses, and the occasional insect.

Some interesting bits I learned about Devils Tower prairie dogs:

  • In Idaho whistle pig is slang for prairie dog
  • Prairie dogs live in colonies or ‘towns’
  • Copulation occurs in the burrows, Jeremy and I spent some time theorizing this before I verified in Wikipedia their non-voyeur status
  • Most ‘families’ or coteries have one male and up to 3 females—if there is a 2nd male, one will always be dominant over the other
  • They like having their photos taken
  • Communicate through yips and barks—kind of sounds like a dog’s squeak toy
  • Ground trampling by pronghorn and deer help maintain a ready supply of flowering plants—a prairie dog diet mainstay

 

I’m quite positive I could work for National Geographic taking photos of animals all day. Only the ones that won’t eat me though.

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