Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsZoology · 4 months ago

New prairie dog species?

I am definitely getting ahead of myself to think this could be a new species, but it's fun to entertain the thought. Attached is a link to a video of it from my drive. 

 I live on 20 acres in the mountains of Colorado where the terrain is rocky and mostly pine forest. There is only 2ish open meadows in my entire community, I live on one. This spring, we noticed one singular large hole that looked like a fox hole (in retrospect it may have been too small an opening for a fox).This morning, we noticed two (only two) prairie dogs living in and around it. The thing is, the only prairie dog colonies relatively close are 7-8 miles away and over 1000 feet of elevation lower than this property. I know the land around here well and am positive that these are the only prairie dogs here. I wanted to know what kind of prairie dog they were so I checked online. There are 5 kinds that don't match its description: black-tailed(has a black tipped tail), gunnison's (has a grayish-white tipped tail and lives in a sagebrush ecosystem), mexican (lives in mexico), white tailed (white tail), and utah (black eyebrows). The two in my yard do not match any of these descriptions. Their tails are entirely darker than the rest of their bodies and look almost an orangish tan. They also don't have any coloration on their faces like darker eyebrows. If they are one of these species, how to you supposed they ended up here?

5 Answers

  • MARK
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    I have no idea why you have posted whatever you have posted in a private area where we cannot view it. It does not really help us to help you.

  • 4 months ago

    First off, colors are not a key to species without some or a number of other features key to a species. Prairie dogs are widespread across the US and at  a range of altitude.

    Like I one thought possum were not found where I lived because I never saw one the first 12 years I lived in a rural California valley. Some research showed how very wrong I was.

    After that, possum everywhere.

    I naturalist is great for such searching, not only range maps, but population counts from observers. Species overlapping.

    Now a new morph/crossbreed can't be ruled out, but a new species depends on propagation.

    Perhaps a live capture could be examined by a zoologist and identified to species.

    Of course releasing where found after. Maybe your wildlife/fish and game can help.

  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    It is probably because they are marmots and not prairie dogs.

  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    new species don't pop up out of nowhere. Just because a chihuahua and a great dane don't look similar doesn't mean that malinois is a separate species.

    I have no access to your google-drive

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  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    The people to ask is probably the natural history museum in the University of Colorado. Give them a call or send them an email and tell them what you observed.

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