Creature Feature: Eastern Cottontail

By MDC | November 1, 2023
From Xplor: November/December 2023

You Eat What?!

Cottontails, like most rabbits, eat their own droppings. Digesting food twice helps them absorb extra nutrients.

Long Jumper

When a bunny wants to boogie, it can leap 15 feet in a single hop and rocket away at 18 miles per hour.

Satellite-Dish Ears

A cottontail can turn each ear independently to focus on the slightest of sounds.

Wide-Angle Vision

Thanks to eyes that stick out from the sides of its head, a cottontail can see danger approaching from almost any direction.

Scissor Teeth

The top and bottom front teeth slip snuggly against each other like blades on a pair of scissors. This allows a cottontail to snip through tough plant stems.


To avoid being seen, cottontails freeze in place and may remain motionless for 15 minutes or longer.

Also In This Issue

Deer in Snow

Critters have tons of tricks to stay alive when temperatures dive

This Issue's Staff

Artist – Matt Byrde
Photographer – Noppadol Paothong
Photographer – David Stonner
Designer – Marci Porter
Designer – Les Fortenberry
Art Director – Cliff White
Editor – Matt Seek
Subscriptions – Marcia Hale
Magazine Manager – Stephanie Thurber