Prairie Dog Serial Killers

Aw, those sweet little prairie dogs. prairie dogs photoAlways a hit at the zoo. Adored by many because they are just so dang cute! Turns out there’s a wicked side to them, however, as some prairie dogs are just serial killers of squirrels in cute little packages.

The rabbit-sized herbivore’s relations with the ground squirrels that forage alongside it often explode into murderous attacks – with some prairie dogs biting squirrels to death on a regular basis.

This is thought to be the first time that one mammalian herbivore has been seen routinely killing members of another herbivore species.

As to why, well, it seems there is some benefit to the family of the serial killers over the families of non-serial killer prairie dogs. That is to say, the serial killers had more offspring than non-serial killers, and the serial killers had survival rates nearly three times their less maniacal brethren.

Photo by Gary Yankech