Cynomys ludovicianus

family:  Sciuridae
geographic range:  North America
weight:  707-1675 g
lifespan:  5-8 years
habitat:  plain
lifestyle:  group

It is common in the United States, Canada and Mexico. It lives in larger deserts, plains with short grass. Their fur is brownish-red, on the belly it is lighter, the end of their 8-11 cm long tail  is black. Males are 10 – 15% heavier than females. They live in groups and dig long underground tunnels. They aggressively protect their territory from other groups. The tunnel system may reach the length of 33 m and the depth of 5 m, with 70 entrances. It doesn’t hibernate for the winter. They have 12 different sound signals. They characteristically give out a “yip”, while rumping. If one of them starts it, the others continue. They are used in laboratories for the examination of gallstones.

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