Best 10 Desert Cottontail Facts, Lifespan, Adaptations

Desert Cottontail 

Have you ever seen a cotton ball in your life? If yes! then make a picture in your mind, think of a gray-brown rabbit having yellowish legs with inner white and long-standing ears. Now, attach a cotton ball at its back this is exactly how a Desert Cottontail Looks like.

Cottontails is a member of the family “Leporidae” and has the scientific name Sylvilagus audubonii” and as their scientific name, some people also call them simply as Audubon’s and just like their name, Desert Cottontails lives in deserts and arid areas and occurs in dry habitats.

Cottontails differs from its cousin eastern cottontail which is because they eat different habitat and have a different physical appearance. Its front feet resemble the goat ones but the back hind feet are 7 cm long and its eyes are big.

Scientific NameSylvilagus audubonii
Order Lagomorpha
SpeciesS. audubonii
Diet Herbivores
Lifespan 2 years in wild
Size 12 – 7 inches
Weight1.5 kg
Gestation period 26 – 30 days
Trophic levelHerbivores
Length 38 cm 

What do Desert Cottontails eat?

Being herbivores, Cottontails eat plants and specifically those that are thick, fleshy, and store water in their leaves. These plants are mostly referred to as succulent plants or cacti. It also eats grass which is their major habitat, bark and twigs are also part of its diet. You will be amazed knowing the fact that cottontails eats the waste material that is discharged from the excrement i.e. feces.

Desert Cottontails facts:

Let’s know about some fact and figures related to  Cottontails:

  1. Cottontails are found in Mexico, Plains States, Southwest, and White sands. 
  2. Cottontails Females are heightened than the male ones. 
  3.  Cottontails are 38 cm long approx. and weight about 1 to 2 lbs.
  4. Cottontails seems to be more active at night than a day which shows that they don’t like to go outside at high temperatures or they might be afraid off of their predators.
  5. Just after giving birth the female cottontails is again ready to reproduce.

Desert Cottontails Pet:

Most of People Today! likes to have cute animals as pets. Keeping Pets makes people happy. Walking and playing with pets helps you to decrease stress and depression. 

But if you are thinking of having a cottontail rabbit as a pet which is a lot different from the normal rabbit that we usually see around us, is not a good choice. They are not supposed to keep as pets and genuinely speaking! they don’t make good pets at all!. It’s difficult to handle them and they are resistant towards environmental changes.

Desert Cottontails lifespan:

Most mammals don’t get to live as long as humans do, but they fight each and every day of their life to feed their young ones. However, the average lifespan of rabbits is no longer than 7 years and cottontails lives on average about 2 years.

Desert Cottontail  2

Desert Cottontails predators:

Worrying about how these small mammals manage to save themselves from the big monster animals? Just Don’t! Animals are expert at lifesaving tricks. Cottontail can run at a speed of over 30km/h when it comes to its life. Whatsoever, the major predator of  Cottontails life is the golden eagle, however, unlike its name it would not be gold for cottontails but metal for sure!. Other Predators include Foxes, weasels, and bull snakes. Read complete article related to Pygmy rabbit facts here.

Desert Cottontails range:

cottontails are found in dryland, arid areas., wood & grasslands. Their range is from eastern Montana to west Texas and into northern and Central Mexico. Cottontails likes to live in bushy areas where their presence is not easily detected by predators. 

Desert Cottontail Baby:

Cottontails when becoming eighty days old starts to breed. The gestation period of cottontails lasts 26 days and in extreme cases 30 days. After giving birth, female cottontail Is again ready to mate. 

Two to six baby cottontails are born per matting. Baby cottontails are unable to see for about two weeks after they are born. They have a fast growth rate and their eyes open fully after two weeks of their birth.

Desert Cottontail adaptations:

cottontails have the advantage of its long ears that helps them to release extra heat and it has a plus point of speedy running, when it finds that it is in danger it runs at a speed of 30km/h.

Desert Cottontail  3

Is the Desert Cottontails endangered?

While thousands of animals are hunted mostly by predators and often by biologists for the scientific techniques, the survival of mammals is becoming more and more difficult day by day and same is the case for desert cottontails. Although it is not listed in the list of endangered species. They are also not recognized as threatened by the US state game agencies.           

How do Desert Cottontails survive in the desert?

When we think of survival it refers to the “struggle” to survive. To save themselves from hunters, Desert Cottontails live in the nests made by other animals. It keeps it’s babies them until they become adults. However, human-induced fires and the agricultural projects are adding more hurdles in their fight to survive, also loss of habitat is the biggest hurdle in their lives.

Can you eat Desert Cottontails?

If you are thinking of having a picnic with friends and  “desert cottontail” as the main dish it would be a cool idea as most of the People eat jackrabbits and Cottontails considering them as their favorite dish.

Desert Cottontail  5

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