How smart are "dirt hamsters"?

At the New York Times, "Can Prairie Dogs Talk?"

With sincere apologies to all the prairie dog enthusiasts, I thought this was really funny:

" Prairie-dog communication is so complex, Slobodchikoff says — so expressive and rich in information — that it constitutes nothing less than language.

"That would be an audacious claim to make about even the most overtly intelligent species — say, a chimpanzee or a dolphin — let alone some kind of dirt hamster with a brain that barely weighs more than a grape."