Cottontail Rabbits


Interactions with Other Organisms

  • Cottontail rabbits use the native prairie grass for both food and building their homes.
  • The trees around their homes provide good shade for coolness and hiding their burrow better. They also use the leaves and bark for food.
  • All surrounding plant life provides nutritional value for cottontails: leaves, bark, grass, flowers, seeds, etc.
  • Red fox and coyote eat cottontail rabbits.

Major Physical Factors

  • Water: There is a pond as a source of water in the field, so rabbits would rely on that for water. Having a primary source of water allows us to reproduce more often.
  • Land: The land is perfect for rabbits. There is plenty of space to run around, make a burrow, or hide from predators. We can use bushes and tall grass to hide as well as to eat or cover our nest.
  • Seasons: Rabbits dig the spring time. Cold weather is no fun. During the springtime, or when it begins getting warm, we start having litters as often as resources allow.
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  • Active year round- do not hibernate or migrate
  • Photosynthesis affects rabbits because photosynthesis allows plants to store energy, which is then eaten by rabbits. We need to store up as much plant energy during the spring and summer months because plants don't photosynthesis in the winter.
  • Mammals, such as cottontail rabbits, need diffusions to get all the nutrients from their bloodstream into the cells. Osmosis does the same for water.

Primary Nutritional Needs

  • Rabbits need lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates for their bodies to function properly, which we get from plant life they eat. We just need the energy to reproduce, escape from predators, and go out to find more food.
  • We need a good source of food energy as well as a readily available water source. Without these, the rabbit will die.
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Physiology/Health Concerns

  • Rabbits often use smell to identify one another.
  • Our bodies are built to run fast and hide easily since we are considered prey.
  • Rabbits are capable of producing super antibodies to survive living in the wild.
  • Rabbits have innate and adaptive immune systems, similar to humans. They have a protective skin layer and sneeze to get rid of toxins. Their body can also adapt to be able to fight new toxin invasions.
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  • Rabbits take part in sexual reproduction where sperm fertilize eggs and there are live births.
  • Rabbits are known for reproducing a lot. They have several litters of around 6 kits each year.
  • Cottontail rabbit kits are born hairless, blind, and helpless, which is known as altricial.
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5 Examples of Evolutionary Adaptations

  • They have multi-colored brown fur with hints of white to blend in with prairie grass
  • They only come out at dusk and dawn for food to avoid predators
  • The rabbits' fur gets thicker in the summer and thinner in the winter.
  • Rabbits store a lot of food in the winter because the food supplies are less available.
  • They are able to digest cellulose, unlike humans, allowing them to get more energy despite being herbivores.


  • Campbell, Neil A., and Jane B. Reece. AP Edition Biology. Seventh Edition ed. San Francisco: Pearson Education Inc., 2005. Print.

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