Great Basin Naturalist


The architecture of burrows of the white-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus) is poorly known. For this reason and for comparative purposes, one recently active burrow of this species was excavated in southern Montana; the detailed methodology is described. Data were compiled on the dimensions of 29.3 m of excavated passages, and interpretations of several features are discussed. A "turning bay," sleeping quarters, two hibernacula, and a maternity area are described, the last feature for the first time in print. In addition, we report Cynomys using their teeth to dig, also for the first time. Further, an inadvertent remodeling of the burrows is ascribed to normal animal traffic and appears to confirm a prediction based on late Pleistocene fossil burrows in Alberta.