A prairie dog stretches skyward in a classic "jump-yip
" near NPS-5 / Highland Ridge Road in Wind Cave National Park. Although the purpose of this behavior
is uncertain, current thinking is that it is a way to solicit a status update from neighbors in the colony. I did observe that jump-yips only occurred when there was no cause for alarm in the colony, and they seemed contagious -- when one did it, others often followed.