Prairie dogs are cute rodents about the size of a typical housecat that get their names from their warning call that sounds a lot like a dog barking. They’re related to squirrels but what makes them even cuter is that they’re highly social, living in towns of 15-26 family groups with up to 8 individuals in each. They maintain relationships in these towns and family groups by grooming and “kissing”.
The really amazing thing about prairie dogs are their burrows. As burrows go they’re not very remarkable(one family group per burrow, roughly 10 meters in length). what makes them special however is the ecological function they’ve come to serve. Besides the obvious functions that burrows in general serve (nursery, temperature control, protection), prairie dog burrows channel rainwater away from the hard packed surface soil, preventing or at least counteracting erosion. They also dig deep enough that they counteract the hardening caused by grazing cattle. And there’s nothing not cool about that.