- n Cynomys prairie dogs
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n cynomys A genus of rodent quadrupeds, of the spermophile division of the family Sciuridæ, approaching the marmots proper (Arctomys) in the stout, thick-set body and short, bushy tail. The pelage is close and harsh; the nail of the thumb is well marked; the outer ears are rudimentary; the cheek-pouches are small; the skull is massive, short, and broad, with wide zygomatic arches and large postorbital processes; and the dentition is very strong and heavy. The genus contains the well-known prairie-dogs or barking squirrels of western North America, which live in extensive underground burrows, in colonies often of immense extent, in the sterile regions of the West. There are two species, C. ludovicianus, the common prairie-dog, whose range in general is from the plains to the Rocky Mountains, and C. columbianus, extending thence westward. See cut under prairiedog.