Prairie Dogs


Reading — Intermediate Level
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Up to 15 inches long, the prairie dog is related to the squirrel. And this mammal is all about family time. Prairie dog family groups, which contain up to 26 individuals, share food, groom each other, and even greet one another with nose-to-nose nuzzles.

Prairie dog families live with hundreds of others in networks of tunnels dug below North America's grasslands. Most of these communities, called dog towns, cover less than half a square mile. But one in Texas stretched a hundred miles.

The animals' sharp claws make them expert diggers. They also have excellent vision and hearing, which allow them to easily detect predators such as coyotes and snakes when aboveground. Once a prairie dog senses danger, it alerts others by barking. It even uses different barks for different enemies.

When hungry, prairie dogs emerge from their tunnels to forage for food. Using their sharp teeth, they act like little lawnmowers, trimming and gulping down grass. Outside, they also have some fun: Prairie dog pups enjoy romping around their burrows. Talk about party animals.
  1. Prairie dogs are similar to dogs because   .

  2. Prairie dogs have   .

  3. Prairie dogs usually inhabit  

  4. Prairie dogs can easily   .

  5. Prairie dogs feed on   .


Practice your writing skills by discussing the questions below

  1. How do prairie dogs look like?

  2. Have you real prairie dogs? if yes, where and how do they exactly behave?


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      • a body part of an animal (such as a lobster or crab) that is used for gripping and holding things
      • (contained) include, have
      • hazard; troublesome situation
      • (dug) excavate
      • (greeted) give a polite word or sign of welcome or recognition to (someone) on meeting
      • the practice of brushing and cleaning the coat of a horse, dog, or other animal
      • a warm-blooded vertebrate animal of a class that is distinguished by the possession of hair or fur, the secretion of milk by females for the nourishment of the young, and (typically) the birth of live young
      • an interconnected group or system
      • an artificial underground passage, especially one built through a hill or under a building, road, or river
      • the state of being able to see


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