By Betty Higbie
Prairie dogs chatter and prairie dogs dance. Greetings between them has the look of romance. It’s nose to nose and a couple of two-steps…is this one a stranger, or familiar, per chance?
Prairie dog likes the visitor’s scent so they commence to the grooming event. They comb and they groom till all hairs do shine. Now for a bit of a frolic. There’s time.
Prairie dogs, a species of rodents are native to North America and live in grassland and prairie areas. These diggers with four sharp claws on each foot are the ecosystem engineers and a pivotal keystone species. They have a critical role in maintaining the structure of an ecological community and affecting many organisms. A large cast of characters depend on them for food and some for shelter to guarantee healthy survival.
At a nearby entrance to the town underground, where all prairie dogs live their lives so profound. The sentry on watch jumps up high, front paws pointing to the sky. On the way down it’s chee chee chee chee that fills the air, the warning danger cry, an enemy is nearby. Predators of the furry mound builders are many. This time it’s the black-footed ferret with a body, long and skinny. If given a chance, into the prairie dog hole it’ll shinny.
The two grooming friends react quickly; they screech, and give chase. Around the
prickly pear, over the coneflower, there’s the ferret just ahead. He turns. Speeds up. Is he coming their way? Oops! He’s out of sight. Where can that ferret be?
Check in next month and see what else these furry dogs can do.
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