Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Nature Notes: Rabbit and Hare
A rather adorable desert cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus audubonii) - at least I think it's a desert cottontail, there are quite a number of species. This one lived at Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. Note the small ears and short legs compared to this
Black-Tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus). A Jackrabbit is not a rabbit, but a hare and hares and rabbits belong to the same family, but not the same genus. so they are related, but not all that closely.
The jackrabbit shows of its long legs and black tail. Hares live out in the open, creating just small indentations in the ground to lie in, most rabbits build burrows and live underground (cottontails don't). Hares give birth to babies that are ready to leave the nest soon after birth, but rabbit babies are naked, blind and helpless for some time.
Oh, and neither rabbits nor hares are rodents!
I encountered the jackrabbit at Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.
Nature Notes is hosted by Michelle at Rambling Woods
Jackrabbit at Animal Diversity Web
jackrabbit at Encyclopedia of Life
Jackrabbit at Wikipedia
cottontail at Wikipedia
Hares and Rabbits at Wikipedia