The Black-Tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is the common prairie dog seen on great plains of North America. The two in the picture are engaged in grooming. These two are also undergoing seasonal molting of their fur as evidenced by the line across the midsection of the animal on the right (above). Periodic shedding of fur occurs in many mammals, as pet owners know. During molt, the Prairie Dog’s fur looks patchy or abnormal as it is shed and replaced. Shed lines like those seen here are typical of the rodents. When complete, the animal has a new set of “clothes”.
Aside from the humorous stretch, notice the shed-line on this animal. Compare the fur on the head side of the line relative to the fur on the tail side of the line. The shedding and replacement will continue until the entire prairie dog has new fur.