|Desert Cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii)|
DESCRIPTION: Wt=2 lbs (900 grams). Overall brownish-gray, with a rufous-colored nape. Its ears are longer than most cottontails, but shorter than jackrabbits.
NATURAL HISTORY: Herbivorous. Generally crepuscular, they rest in the shade under plants or even will use rodent burrows to escape the heat of the day.
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First of all, rabbits and hares (and pica) are not rodents, they are lagomorphs (among other differences, lagomorphs have 4 upper incisors compared to 2 in rodents). Rabbits (including cottontails) are generally smaller than hares and give birth to altricial young that blind, naked, relatively helpless offspring that spend their first couple of weeks in a nest (a depression lined with grass and fur). In contrast, hares (including jackrabbits) give birth to precocial young that have their eyes open and fur on and are able to follow their mother around shortly after birth (no nest).