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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects
Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus)
Eastern Cottontail photographed near the Visitors Center at the Sachuest Point NWR, Middletown, Rhode Island.
Photograph by Tom McCarthy (cruadinx). Some rights reserved. (view image details)
Eastern Cottontail, Ocala National Forest
Photograph copyright: Chad Anderson - all rights reserved. Used with permission. (view image details)
EASTERN COTTONTAIL FACTSDescription
Eastern cottontails are prolific rabbits and can have up to seven litters a year. They have dense gray fur with longer black-tipped outer hairs (guard hairs). It has a prominent reddish patch on the neck. The underside of the body and tail is white. The summer coat is shorter and browner than the winter coat. During September to October, the cottontail molts and changes to the grayer winter fur. The eyes are quite large.
Length 40 - 48cm. Weight 0.8 - 1.5kg
meadows, orchards, farmlands, hedgerows, shrubby woodland.
The diet is vegetarian and includes grasses, wild strawberry, clover, garden vegetables. In the winter when food is scarce, it eats twigs, bark and buds
Females give birth to litters of up to 12 young (average 5) after a gestation period of 25 - 28 days. An average of 3 - 4 litters may be born in a year. The young are weaned after 16 - 22 days.
southern Manitoba and Quebec to Central and northwestern South America. In the United States, from the east to the Great Plains of the west
Relatives in same Genus
Swamp Rabbit (S. aquaticus)
Desert Cottontail (S. audubonii)
Brush Rabbit (S. bachmani)
Mountain Cottontail (S. nuttallii)
Appalachian Cottontail (S. obscurus)
Marsh Rabbit (S. palustris)
New England Cottontail (S. transitionalis)