Chapter

Prairie Dogs

Dale F. Lott

in American Bison

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780520233386
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930742 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520233386.003.0014
Prairie Dogs

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Prairie dogs were in many ways as central to the prairie economy as bison, but unlike bison they lived not just on the prairie but in it as well. Prairie dogs spent their lives literally under the feet of bison. A prairie dog town is more dug than built. They create tunnels too small for most predators to enter and so make homes that are more secure and also, being underground, more temperate. The closer the blade is to the roots, the higher the percentage of protein and the lower the percentage of cellulose it contains. Closely cropped grass is a necessity for prairie dogs and a treat for bison. So bison spend a lot of time in prairie dog towns. Meanwhile, prairie dogs depend on bison to get the grass short enough for them to live there.

Keywords: prairie economy; bison; burrow; prairie dog towns; grass

Chapter.  2596 words. 

Subjects: Biological Sciences

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