| The Appalachian Cottontail and the New England Cottontail look almost identical, and for a long time they were thought to be the same species. They are medium-sized rabbits with fine, silky fur. Nearly all Appalachian Cottontails are found in dense conifer and deciduous forests at upper elevations. They are the only cottontails known to feed heavily on conifer needles. They are social in some of their behaviors and solitary in others—they groom alone, but vocalize when they are with other cottontails, and may establish hierarchies, in which some rabbits are dominant and others submissive to them.
Females are larger than males.
Chapman, J.A., K.L. Cramer, N.J. Deppenaar and T J. Robinson. 1992. Systematics and biogeography of the New England cottontail, Sylvilagus transitionalis (Bangs, 1895), with the description of a new species from the Appalachian Mountains. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 105:841-866.
Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).
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