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On the Wild Side: Strange news from the World of Wildlife!

Smoochin' Prairie Pooches

Despite the name, a prairie dog is more squirrel than canine. It's also strangely human. The Black-tailed Prairie Dog, for example, greets its neighbors with a kiss and builds elaborate subdivisions.

First, the kissing: When Black-tailed Prairie Dogs approach each other, they often touch noses and then, turning their heads sideways, touch incisors. It's not a courtship gesture, though, but a friendly way to acknowledge an acquaintance, like a handshake or tip of the hat.

As for the subdivisions, Black-tailed Prairie Dogs construct their conical burrows alongside the burrows of thousands of other Black-tailed Prairie Dogs to form towns. These towns can cover a hundred acres or more and feature distinct neighborhoods. And within these neighborhoods, individual families of prairie dogs raise their young.

Click here to learn more about the Black-tailed Prairie Dog.