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Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Journals Lewis and Clark as Naturalists

Desert Cottontail

Although there is precious little description of the rabbits that they saw in the area between the Niobrara River and the Big Bend of the Missouri, these are presumed to be the desert cottontail.

Capt. Clark, Sept 11, 1804--here the Man who left us with horses 22 (16) days ago (George Shannon   He started 26 Augt) and has been a head ever since joined us nearly Starved to Death, he had been 12 days without any thing to eate but Grapes & one Rabit, which he Killed by shooting a piece of hard Stick in place of a ball. This Man Supposeing the boat to be a head pushed on as long as he could, when he became weak and feable deturmined to to lay by and waite for a tradeing boat, which is expected, Keeping one horse for the last resorce, thus a man had like to have Starved to death in a land of Plenty for want of Bullitts or Something to kill his meat.

Capt. Clark, September 15, 1804--I saw great numbers of Rabits and Grapes,

Capt. Clark, Sept 18, 1804 --Some Goats of a Different Kind wer Seen yesterday great many Porcupin rabits & Barking Squirils in this quarter. Plumbs & grapes.

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