ROYAL OAK, MICH (WXYZ) - The Prairie Dog family at the Detroit Zoo this year is getting bigger!
About a third of the Prairie Dog population at the zoo was born this spring. That brings the total to 75. And, the new little pups are getting bigger.
Interestingly, Prairie Dogs are not really dogs, but rodents. They are actually members of the squirrel family.
They got their name many years ago when our ancestors were crossing this young country. These animals sounded like dogs when they barked. Hence, the name prairie dogs.
When you go to the zoo, you'll see some of their interesting habits. If they meet and recognize another family member , they exchange what appears to be a kiss, but is really just touching their front teeth.
Although they spend most of the day looking for food and keeping clear of predators, they do socialize quite a bit. A lot of that happens in their little "town," which is comprised of an intricate series of underground tunnels where they have individual rooms to sleep in, store food, and raise their pups.
These tunnels are dug 3 to 10 feet deep.
The Prairie Dogs are among the smallest of the animals you'll find at the zoo only weighing up to 3 pounds.
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