11 Types of Animals that Resemble Prairie Dogs (with Pictures)

In this captivating article, readers will discover 11 types of animals that bear a striking resemblance to prairie dogs. From the American beaver to the domestic ferret, these creatures not only share similar appearances but also habitats and behaviors. Whether it’s their burrowing habits, rodent classification, or herbivorous diets, these animals have characteristics that make them comparable to the beloved prairie dog. With stunning pictures accompanying the descriptions, readers will be intrigued to learn more about these fascinating creatures.

11 Types of Animals that Resemble Prairie Dogs (with Pictures)

Prairie dogs are adorable and fascinating creatures that are known for their burrowing habits and herbivorous diet. However, there are other animals out there that share various similarities with prairie dogs, either in appearance or behavior. In this article, we will explore 11 different animals that resemble prairie dogs in one way or another. Let’s take a closer look!

1. American Beaver

Scientific name: Castor canadensis

The American Beaver, just like prairie dogs, belongs to the rodent family and is native to some of the same regions. While beavers are larger than prairie dogs, they share the same herbivorous diet. American Beavers primarily feed on aquatic plants, roots, tree bark, and other vegetation. They are known for their ability to build sturdy dams in running water.

American Beaver

2. Chipmunk

Scientific name: Tamias

Chipmunks are common rodents found in North America and share a similar brown appearance with prairie dogs. While they are smaller in size compared to prairie dogs, chipmunks also belong to the same family. These adorable creatures can be found in woodlands with ample trees and shrubbery. They use pouches inside their cheeks to store food, such as seeds and nuts. Chipmunks create burrows underground, with tunnels connecting them.


3. Yellow Bellied Marmot

Scientific name: Marmota flaviventris

Yellow Bellied Marmots are large rodents found in the western United States, similar to prairie dogs. These stocky creatures also shelter in burrows and hibernate during the winter months. Depending on the terrain they inhabit, they can create burrows in grasslands or under rocks. Yellow Bellied Marmots can live alone or share shelters with other members of their species.

Yellow Bellied Marmot

4. Meerkat

Scientific name: Suricata suricatta

Meerkats, although native to Africa, bear a striking resemblance to prairie dogs. They have similar appearances and share the habit of burrowing in tunnels underground. Meerkats create multiple connecting tunnels and live in social groups called mobs or gangs. These adorable creatures have bushy brown fur with distinct dark patches around their eyes. Meerkats are omnivores and feed on vegetation, insects, and small reptiles.


5. Pocket Gopher

Scientific name: Geomyidae

Pocket Gophers, like prairie dogs, live in similar shelters and have similar appearances. These rodents have brownish fur, but they can also be black and grey. Pocket Gophers are commonly found in woodlands and farmlands across North America. They create burrows approximately 5 feet underground. These burrows consist of tunnels and chambers used for nesting and storing food.

Pocket Gopher

6. American Mink

Scientific name: Neovison vison

American Minks can be found in regions similar to prairie dogs and also share the habit of burrowing for shelter. These weasels are more commonly found near coastlines, lakes, or marshes, where they have easy access to water and shrubbery. American Minks have a wide-ranging diet that includes frogs, fish, small mammals, and birds. Unlike prairie dogs, American Minks are carnivores.

American Mink

7. Muskrat

Scientific name: Ondatra zibethicus

Muskrats closely resemble prairie dogs in both size and appearance, as they are also rodents. These large rodents have a long tail that helps them swim through the water found in their habitats. Muskrats are semi-aquatic and are known to inhabit both saltwater and freshwater environments. They can be found in North America and Eurasia.


8. Northern Short-Tailed Shrew

Scientific name: Blarina brevicauda

Northern Short-Tailed Shrews are smaller than prairie dogs but share the habit of burrowing underground in similar regions. These shrews have poor vision but compensate with their excellent sense of smell. Despite their tiny size, Northern Short-Tailed Shrews are fierce hunters of insects and small animals. They do not hibernate and can be spotted throughout the year.

Northern Short-Tailed Shrew

9. Kangaroo Rat

Scientific name: Dipodomys

Kangaroo Rats share similarities with prairie dogs in terms of size, appearance, and their classification as rodents. These creatures can be found in various regions of North America. Kangaroo Rats are known for their exceptional chewing ability and astonishing speed, capable of running at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. Interestingly, Kangaroo Rats can live their entire lives without drinking water, relying solely on the moisture in their diet of roots, seeds, leaves, and beans.

Kangaroo Rat

10. Domestic Ferret

Scientific name: Mustela putorius furo

Domestic Ferrets, similar in size to prairie dogs, are affectionate and playful animals. They belong to the weasel family, just like American Minks. Domestic Ferrets have gained popularity as pets and can be quite docile when properly cared for. They often have a brownish coloring, similar to prairie dogs. As pets, they are typically fed commercial dry food but can also consume live mice or rabbits.

Domestic Ferret

11. Pika

Scientific name: Ochotona

Pikas bear a striking resemblance to prairie dogs, with their rounded bodies and brown fur. They are also herbivores, feeding on a variety of flowers, grass, leaves, and vegetation. Pikas can be found in colonies and are native to Asia and North America. They thrive in mountainous regions and do not hibernate during the winter months.


In conclusion, these 11 animals resemble or share various characteristics with prairie dogs, whether it be their appearance, burrowing habits, or diet. Some of these animals belong to the same rodent family, while others may only share similar traits. It’s fascinating to discover the diversity of nature and how different species can exhibit similar behaviors or physical characteristics.

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