Our findings have potentially significant implications for observational research studies and offer further insights into higher-ordered animal behavior. Black-tailed prairie dog social complexity rivals that of some primates, and, in some respects, resembles the behavior of humans. Using a captive population of black-tailed prairie dogs, we were able to quantify the effects of observation on key behaviors. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are diurnal, omnivorous rodents that live in intricate cities. Due to the rich variety of readily-observable, sophisticated behaviors such as coloniality, infanticide, anti-predator behaviors, kin recognition, cooperation, conflict, and reproductive success, the black-tailed prairie dog is a wonderful model species for the study of behavior.