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American BisonA Natural History$
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Dale Lott, Jan van Wagtendonk, and Kevin Shaffer

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520233386

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520233386.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Prairie Dogs

Prairie Dogs

(p.127) Chapter 14 Prairie Dogs
American Bison

Dale F. Lott

University of California Press

Prairie dogs were in many ways as central to the prairie economy as bison, but unlike bison they lived not just on the prairie but in it as well. Prairie dogs spent their lives literally under the feet of bison. A prairie dog town is more dug than built. They create tunnels too small for most predators to enter and so make homes that are more secure and also, being underground, more temperate. The closer the blade is to the roots, the higher the percentage of protein and the lower the percentage of cellulose it contains. Closely cropped grass is a necessity for prairie dogs and a treat for bison. So bison spend a lot of time in prairie dog towns. Meanwhile, prairie dogs depend on bison to get the grass short enough for them to live there.

Keywords:   prairie economy, bison, burrow, prairie dog towns, grass

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