When, Why Do Prairie Dogs Kiss Each Other?

In contrast to their name, prairie dogs are nowhere similar to dogs, instead, prairie dogs are smart little rodents, surprisingly, cousins of squirrels. From creating underground colonies to creating shelter for rabbits, and snakes to attracting insects, prairie dogs do so much well and are amazing inside. One of the amazing activities of prairie dogs is kissing each other.  Similar to otters that hold each other’s hand, prairie dogs take it to the next level by kissing each other. But it’s pretty much unknown why do prairie dogs kiss each other. Is it really a kiss? When do they kiss each other? How long does it last? Here’s the answer.

In Brief…

Prairie dogs touch their front teeth apparently kiss each other to recognize each other. They seem to be kissing when they interact, meet one another and that isn’t limited to only loved ones, but they do it with any prairie dog out there to recognize it whether its from their family, group, or community. Sometimes, they may also use kissing to transfer food. Unlike raccoons that live, give birth without a father, prairie dogs live in a large community and have a strong social relationship so they tend to kiss each other to know each other just like ants.

Similar to squirrels, prairie dogs are little fast rodents armed with powerful sharp teeth that bite the worst. Their vocalizations are complex and convey much information than any other animal out there. They have lots of other sounds and vocalizations for communication, warnings, and alerts. There’s more to these little creatures especially prairie dogs kissing each other.

Why Do Prairie Dogs Kiss Each Other?

While chipmunks are popular of its cheek full of nuts, prairie dogs are popular of its kissing. If you’ve ever seen prairie dogs whether in a zoo or on internet, you may have probably seen them kissing each other. They do it more often than usual. Some of them even hugs the other one first and then supposedly kiss it.

These little rodents live in an underground colony made up of chambers and tunnels that are so large and have bedrooms, living, toilets and even rooms for noticing predators. With hundreds of rooms, prairie dogs live in the largest possible group and do everything together like collecting food, building burrows and protecting each other. They use kissing as a key to recognize and know one another whether it is of their same group or not. It often occurs between prairie dogs of the same community and they will supposedly kiss the other first. If the dog doesn’t belong to this family, then they will start fighting.

They also groom, cuddle, hug and touches the noses and teeth for identification, and that way they will come to know about each other. A family of prairie dogs lives in a burrow and they help, find food, groom and protect each other. The only way they would know each other will be the apparently kissing one another and ensure the dog is their family member. They protect their burrows and wouldn’t let other prairies enter or dominate over. When the young prairie has grown up, it will move from here and will build his own burrow and family. A prairie dog’s family includes a male prairie dog with a few females.

Do Prairie Dogs Really Kiss?

They apparently kiss but instead, they touch each other’s mouth and comes to know of each other from touching one another teeth. It’s also another way to say hello and greet each other but the primary reason would be recognizing each other. They usually do this whenever one enters their burrow or a prairie dog enters or is in their territory and they do this more than 10 times a day. A family knows each other in this way and have also lots of sounds to communicate with each other. Those are for the warning, alerting each other of predator presence and absence. They can run, climb and swim and jump from ground higher than raccoons but not jump or fall off from a building or tree like raccoons.

Whenever one is back from out or there’s some suspense, they will quickly kiss each other appearing to us but touching their front in actual. It usually lasts a few seconds but is very romantic and lovely to watch.

Do Prairie Dogs Get Affected From Kissing Each other?

With their number increased, prairie dogs would seem more kissing, grooming, cuddling and touching each other. However, juveniles prairies are on the opposite. They do fight more than interacting with each other. In general, they care and protect each other more than humans and are also very beneficial to our environment, food species and more importantly a perfect food cycle without which lots of dependents would starve to death. There are around 200 species that depend on them like hawks, owls. Their food diet is based on grass, seeds, and small insects, and love chocolates like raccoons despite its toxic for them.

Like humans that develop HIV, STIs due to sex or oral sex like kissing with different people, prairie dogs have also the risk of pests and threats. Since they are different from humans, they have far less risk of getting affected or sick from kissing, grooming, cuddling and touching each other. And they aren’t the only creatures who do this, there are far more that do one or all of these activities like chimpanzees, otters, dogs, beavers and more.

Another reason why prairie dogs don’t get affected by pests or sick from those oral contact (kissing, cuddling, and touching) is because prairie dogs saliva is completely different from humans. Not only that, their repulsive force is stronger and they have adapted to these activities, that minimizes their risk to the bottom.

How Long Do Prairie Dogs Kiss Last?

Prairie dogs do a quick kiss but sometimes it can last upto 4 seconds. If they are in hurry, they would do in quickly, but if they are safe and didn’t have much work and is in good mood, they will do a long kiss or multiple kisses and quite slowly. If they are watched, they will often do more kissing, grooming, cuddling, and touching. The number of people also differs. If there are lots of people they might do it very slowly and repeatedly. The more the people, the more kisses they will do. In this point, it can also be romantic.

However, prairie dogs have the most sophisticated language ever decoded. They can even describe the size, colour, shape, speed and the level of threat to each other. Similar to it, prairie dogs behaviour is yet to be find and how they choose which prairie to kiss since they don’t know who is it before they kiss.

Do Male Prairie Dogs Also Kiss?

Yes, male prairie dogs also kiss each other seriously, unlike male and female and a mother and his pups kiss. A family of prairie dogs consists of one prairie dog male, and two to three females which live in a burrow. But since prairie dogs live in a large group despite living in a family, male prairie dogs often apparently kiss each other for clarifying he’s from the same community. Prairie dogs are very protective, and checks everyone by kissing one another around their home.

Despite that, prairie dogs are very territorial just like squirrels, and protect it from strangers and predator, so whenever they see a prairie dog, they will immediately run and kiss to recognize it. If it’s from the same community, it’s fine, however, if it’s not, they will start fighting.  Since the way they know each other is by touching their front teeth which seems kissing, male prairie dogs first kiss to recognize each other and if they aren’t from the community, they will then start fighting.

Whom Do Prairie Dog Kiss?

Prairie dogs kiss almost every prairies out there, even prairies from other towns. Because that’s how they come to know each other. Meaning without kissing they can’t recognize who the other one is not even a mother prairie knows her pups without kissing. Male prairies often kiss more different people than female ones. Male prairies often travel across the territory and would kiss everyone inside their territory.

A mother prairie often kisses her pups, grooming and touching them. But primarily kisses first for recognizing them. Male prairie may also kiss with multiple female prairies inside his home to come to know each other with kiss. Pups also kiss each other and her mother for recognizing but engage more in fighting. Young prairies may engage more in fighting than kissing and grooming each other.

How Do Prairie Dogs Kiss?

Prairie dogs kiss each other just like humans, turning their heads side and mouth to mouth but touching their teeth which seems very romantic but is not for romantic purposes. They are very expert at it and do it professionally, even better than most typical people. Similar to kissing your girlfriend, it may seem easy but actually, that’s not really. It’s a step by step process and needs the right position and perfect place to kiss. That’s why there are so many kissing styles like American kiss, one-lip kiss and french kiss most popularly. Though prairie dogs don’t know about them, they perfectly do it.

When a prairie dog meets another, they will come very close and stop. Often it starts with smelling the other one’s nose, turns his head aside and moves his mouth into others and touches his teeth but also squeeze tongues to know of him. Like their vocalizations which is the most complicated and sophisticated language decoded ever, it’s also one of those complicated ways to know each other. The kiss is followed by playing, grooming and fighting friendly, however, if the prairie dog wasn’t from their community, they would then start fighting. Prairie dogs are highly territorial and protect it from other prairie dogs and predators.

Do Prairie Dog Greet Each Other With Kissing?

While it may seem kissing, greeting, or loving each other, prairie dogs apparently kiss to touch each other’s teeth to come to know each other. It’s a very unique way to know each other and no other animal does that. That’s what makes them adorable and different from others. Prairie dogs do it with almost everyone in their territory and even strangers for recognizing them. And that’s nowhere romantic for them but part of their necessity and daily activity.

Where Can You Find Prairie Dogs Kissing Each Other?

Prairie dogs are native to North America. They are primarily seen in the northern parts of Mexico specifically at the southern end of the Great Plains. They are also found in the west of the Mississippi River and also in Canadian Prairies. People have also reported prairie dogs at Wichita Mountains NWR, Chickasha, and places similar to it.

You can’t really find them in your nearest park but you can probably find them in the wild in the altitudes of 2,000 – 10,000 above sea level, where in the summer it warms upto 38 °C  and in the winter, it colds upto −37 °C. The reason they live in these high vicinity is because it minimizes the risk of flooding and disasters overall.

The easiest way to find and see prairie dogs kissing each other would be to visit a zoo that has prairie dogs. You can Google “nearest zoo with prairie dogs” and you would be amazed seeing them.

When you visit, make sure you take a considerable space as they are very territorial and can bite.

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