Movement draws the eye, while staying still can hide the animal, as its hair color usually blends into the surroundings. Males and females are generally the same size and color. (Geoff Chandler / DCResource; cc by 2.0), The cottontail mother continues to visit her kits until they’re 18 to 21 days old. The eastern cottontail measures about 12 to 18 inches long and weighs roughly 2 to 4 pounds (Minnesota DNR 2020; NatureServe 2020). Throughout their range, cottontails can be found in meadows or any open grassy area with an abundance of well-distributed dense shrubs for cover. The eastern cottontail is found from extreme southern Canada south to South America. They depend on low growing woody vegetation for food as wel… Eastern Cottontails run in a zig-zag pattern when chased. In the winter its fur may be more gray than brown. Behavior Cottontail rabbits are hunted by many predators, so they only live two to three years in the wild. They shed their hair twice a year, and in the winter, it’s longer and grayer. The largest ran… For that alone, it would seem they deserve some easy pickings here and there in their very brief lives, but they can be a troubling nuisance when they nibble on elegant specimen grasses, snip tender branches off precious shrubs or bite off the flowers of prized plants. When a predator is chasing it, the eastern cottontail will often leap from side to side to break its scent trail. Eastern Cottontail kits might be born in an old burrow, but it’s more likely to be a narrow hole 4–6 inches deep (10–15 cm), dug by their mother in tall grasses, under thick bushes, or another place she thinks is safe. They are active year-round and typically live in one home range throughout their lifetime. They’re lucky if they live for two or three years, even though their potential lifespan is eight to 10 years. The eastern cottontail can leap distances of between 10 and 15 feet. There may be an exquisite expanse of flavors in, say, salad greens that we humans can’t detect, but make them delectable to rabbits. The eastern cottontail has speckled brown-gray fur above, reddish-brown fur around its neck and shoulders and lighter fur around its nose and on its undersides. Most active at dusk and dawn; they often remain hidden during the day. In Vermont, snow cover limits the distribution and densities of the cottontail population. She doesn’t remain with them, to avoid attracting attention. It will sometimes stand on its hind feet to watch for predators like coyotes, foxes, weasels, eagles and hawks. Several species of cottontails inhabit North America, but here in eastern Ontario, the familiar “bunny rabbit” is the eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus).This species weighs 1.1 to 1.2 kg, and may be about 450 mm long (Banfield 1974, Forsyth 1985), with the female the larger animal. The hair on the upper part of the body consists of a dense, buff-brown underfur covered by longer, coarser, gray- and black-tipped guard hairs. They’re all similar in appearance and habits and primarily differ only in size, habitat, and range. It’s so unlike other rabbit fossils that researchers believe it developed that way due to its isolation. Eastern cottontail rabbits reside throughout the eastern United States and parts of Canada and Mexico. ), Cottontail Mother feeding her kits. That’s the inspiration for the phrase “Mad as a March hare.” The female won’t mate again until after her litter is born. Cottontail rabbits play important roles in their ecosystems. It has a black patch between its ears and is usually smaller than the eastern cottontail and has shorter ears. Because they’re taken this way, they’re rarely seen. As for emotions, medical imaging studies have shown that humans and animals have the same neural activity in primitive parts of the brain that are associated with emotions. If detected, they bound away through one of their several escape routes. Like other rabbits, Eastern Cottontails fight each other, too: Their ears go back, the chin juts forward, thumping begins, growls are emitted, and a war is on. Cecotropes contain proteins, fiber, B and K vitamins, other nutrients, and gut microbes that are essential in the digestion of solid food. Eastern Cottontails can be found in the meadows, agricultural areas, orchards and woodlands of North and South America. Mountain cottontails, and a number of other species, also spread north into Canada. Hares typically live in open areas, like deserts, while rabbits do not. It will sometimes stand on its hind feet to watch for predators like coyotes, foxes, weasels, eagles and hawks. The ears are 2–3 inches long (4.9–7.6 cm) and held straight up; they can swivel independently … If caught, they might play dead by going limp in the predator’s mouth. It occurs from southern Canada throughout most of the United States and across much of Mexico. They inhabit southeastern Canada, the Great Plains and East Coast and down to South America. Always on the lookout for danger, cottontails generally move slowly and hop only short distances, then crouch or freeze. Named for its white, cottony-looking tail, the Eastern Cottontail is 15–19 inches long (38–48 cm) and weighs 2–4 pounds (0.9–1.8 kg). They’re prey for just about anything that’s large enough to catch and hold onto them. Eastern cottontails typically inhabit one home range throughout their lifetime, but home range shifts in response to vegetation changes and weather are common. The mountain cottontail also has shorter ears (about 2.5 inches long) compared to the desert cottontail. Running speeds of the eastern cottontail can reach eighteen miles per hour. When the predator drops them, they suddenly race away. Their coats are range from grey brown to reddish brown, and their tail has a white underside that is visible when the rabbit is running. Both species of cottontail are found in New Hampshire. The hair on the upper part of the body is a dense, buff-brown underfur covered by longer, coarser, gray- and black-tipped guard hairs. Range and Distribution The eastern cottontail is the most wide-ly distributed species of North American rabbit. Meanwhile, she runs under him and turns 180 degrees. The mother’s milk is so highly nourishing she needs to come to them only twice a day—early in the morning and at dusk. Their hearing is especially keen. Without them, the kits’ guts become overwhelmed with abnormal bacteria, and they can die a painful death. Hares are generally larger and have longer legs and ears. In the winter, their coat is longer and grayer. But a cottontail produces a purr by grinding its teeth. Rabbit nest hidden in chipped-wood mulch. Even those who scheme to prevail and often lose in an ongoing garden war with them. North American rabbits rarely, if ever, dig a burrow. The high reproductive capacity and adaptability of this species has made the cottontail one of the most important game animals in North America. The underside is white. However, individuals in the northern part of its range are larger than those in southern areas. Females will fight each other for control of a territory. When a predator is chasing it, the eastern cottontail will often leap from side to side to break its scent trail. (Porsupah Ree / Flickr; cc by-nc-sa 2.0). They are active during the night and spend their days hidden under a log or in a thicket. Ge­o­graphic Range The east­ern cot­ton­tail has the widest dis­tri­b­u­tion of any Sylvi­la­gus. She lines it with grass and soft fur she plucked from her own body for insulation. Eastern cottontail rabbits—named for their short, cotton-ball-like tails—are the most common species of cottontail rabbits. Owners of domesticated rabbits claim they show anger, jealousy, love, grief, and other emotions. A single species covers most of the United States, as the eastern cottontail is incredibly widespread.The western United States has a smattering of various species, and additional species spread south into Mexico and Central America. In 2011 a gigantic fossil was unearthed on the small island Mallorca, off the coast of Spain. She stays near them, at least part of the day, resting in a slight depression, called a form, that she creates by scraping away or trampling down the soil or vegetation. Cottontails can see and hear pretty much everything that’s around them. The young are … Males fight with other males for females. Figure 1. (Rklawton / Wiki; CC BY-SA 2.5). And juveniles play-fight. Instead, they’re highly nutritious, gel-like, fermented droppings are produced in a rabbit’s cecum, a pouch located between the large and small intestines. In the con­tigu­ous United States, the east­ern cot­ton­tail ranges from the east to the Great Plains in the west. (Chap­man, 1975) The twitching exposes some of the one-hundred million sensing receptors they have in their nose, which makes an already-exceptional sense of smell even more delicate. Their underside is white. They may have up to five pregnancies per season, but usually only three, each time producing four or five kits. Nine of them are cottontails that inhabit North America, Mexico, and Central and South America. Range length 395.0 to 477.0 mm 15.55 to 18.78 in; Average length 430.0 mm 16.93 in; Where do they live? Males and females are generally the same size and color. Not just that, but they can turn on a dime in a zig-zag pattern as they go to confuse predators. The eastern cottontails is solitary and very territorial. It is mostly nocturnal, but it sometimes will come out in the early morning and at dusk and sometimes during the day on dark days. (Nancy Magnusson Flickr; CC BY-NC 2.0). Eastern Cottontail North Carolina Wildlife Profiles The eastern cottontail is one of three rabbit species native to North Carolina. Females are larger than males. The cottontail occurs in southern, eastern, and northern lowland areas of the Adirondack Park. Pity the poor humans! The male moves toward the female, and then leaps up to 15 feet (4.57 m) into the air and flips around 180 degrees. Its coat is generally a dappled mixture of … Cottontails are built for speed, jumping, and agility. The female is capable of producing a litter of up to eight or more babies (called kits or kittens) every 30 days. Playful young cottontails. They shed twice a year. Mating and births occur a little later in the north and earlier in southern climates. 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