Prairie dogs (genus Cynomys) are burrowing rodents native to the grasslands of North America. The five different species of prairie dogs are: black-tailed, white-tailed, Gunnison's, Utah and Mexican prairie dogs. They are a type of ground squirrel, found in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In Mexico, prairie dogs are found primarily in the northern states, which lie at the southern end of the Great Plains: northeastern Sonora, north and northeastern Chihuahua, northern Coahuila, northern Nuevo Len, and northern Tamaulipas. In the U.S., they range primarily to the west of the Mississippi River, though they have also been introduced in a few eastern locales. They are herbivorous. Prairie dogs are named for their habitat and warning call, which sounds similar to a dog's bark. The name was in use at least as early as 1774. The 1804 journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition note that in September 1804, they 'discovered a Village of an animal the French Call the Prairie Dog.'
Contributions by Aranae, Adagio, and Mjb.