Prairie dog#

In museum, Photo: H. Maurer, Fall 2005
In museum
Photo: H. Maurer, Fall 2005

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."

Its genus, Cynomys, derives from the Greek for "dog mouse".