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Baby its cold outside!

15 Jan

bunny tracks 3It is cold outside, so cold that even the squirrels are staying in their nests. The upside is the sun is out and the light covering of white stuff is sparkling. There are some brave souls out there, the 4 crows that have made our property their territory. (One that was born last year and three that have been here for years.) But the bravest I think are the Lagamorphs hopping around on the snow. More specifically the Eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus), a member of the family Leporidae. They are hardy. They are small rabbits that live in both the front and back of the property, they have their territories too. Although they are seen everywhere, and last year was an especially good year for these little bunnies, they are not native, but an introduced species that are creating a competition for the native New England cottontail. They are almost identical to the rarer native cottontail rabbits. The only way I know of telling them apart is by examining their skulls, not a good idea for the lesser of the two. You can recognize rabbit tracks by their patter, three paws in the front and one in the back.

Eastern cottontail rabbit tracks in the snow.

Eastern cottontail rabbit tracks in the snow.

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Posted by on January 15, 2015 in backyard science, Science, science in the parks

 

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