Eastern Cottontail
Sylvilagus floridanus

The Eastern Cottontail is 12-16 inches long, with a tail of about 2 inches. The rabbit is short-eared and has a short white tail, thus the name. Its preferred habitat is brushy areas, forest edges and swamps.

This species flourishes almost everywhere east of the Rocky Mountains. Cats, foxes, hawks, and owls help to keep its numbers under some control; human hunters also take a heavy toll. But the rabbit's legendary fecundity means that the population is constantly being renewed. Each year a female cottontail produces several litters, each with up to seven young, and rabbits born in early spring may breed that very summer. Rabbits bear naked, blind young; hares (including the jackrabbits) are born furred and with their eyes open. Another difference is their gait. Rabbits have shorter legs and are better suited for running.

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