| Living well below sea level in Death Valley and also in woodland and grassland up to 2,000 m elevation, Desert Cottontails are able to tolerate diverse habitats. They are most active at dawn and dusk, and spend hot days resting in a burrow or in a "hide," which is a shallow depression in the ground or in vegetation. Like all rabbits, they are vegetarians, feeding on grasses, shrubs, and forbs. They also eat acorns. When they can, they forage under shrubs, and when they venture out from under shelter, they move cautiously, and freeze when alarmed. They breed year-round, and mature quickly: breeding is seen in individuals as young as three months of age.
Also known as:
Females are larger than males.
Baird, S.F., 1857 . Mammals. In Reports of explorations and surveys, to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, Vol. 8, Pt. 1. Mammals, p. 608. Beverly Tucker Printer, Washington, D.C., 8(1):1-757.
Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).
Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account * (opens in a new window).
* PDF reader available here (opens in a new window).
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