Brush rabbit, also known as the western, or Californian brush rabbit, is a species of a cottontail rabbit. Found in North America, it has quite a range through mountains. Developing a speed up to 25 mph, this rabbit was used for the sport of dog racing in ancient Egypt!
Where can we find the brush rabbit?
Limited to the Pacific coast, our rabbit occurs from the Columbia river in the north to the tip of Baja, Mexico in the south. Although its range goes as far as eastern parts of South Nevada, it stops here. Therefore, our rabbit inhabits dense, brushy cover, typically in chaparral vegetation. However, it can also be seen in oak habitats and will live in grassland or brush. Thus, our friend creates networks of runways throughout the vegetation.
How does the brush rabbit look?
Our small rabbit has short legs and tail. Yet, unlike the other cottontails, this one has a grey underside to its tail instead of white. Moreover, the fur color is dark gray on the sides and back, while the belly is pale gray. Although some have white tips, the whiskers are mostly black. Finally, when it comes to the size, an adult can grow to 14,5 inches in length and weigh to 32 ounces.
Similar to mandarin duck, this rabbit’s diet varies depending on the season. Thus, our herbivore mostly eats grasses. However, it will also feed on other plant species, including leaves, forbs, and scrub such as blackberries and wild rose. Yet, like all of us, the rabbit has its favorite food, which is green clover.
Being polygynous, male rabbits will mate with more than one female, not forming pair bonds. Depending on the location, breeding occurs whether in winter, or summer. However, many of them breed again soon after giving birth. Therefore, up to four litters can be produced each year. So, after a gestation of 27 days, 2 to 4 kittens are born. Naturally, the mother will take care of the babies, providing them food. After 4, 5 months, the rabbits are ready to start their own life and breed.
Did you know brush rabbits have 18 toenails? The front two paws have five toenails, while four are on the back feet!
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