Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wascally wabbits!

When you are as tender, tantalizing, and devoid of defenses as a bunny rabbit, you come equipped with this survival strategy: fecundity.

Furry cuisine.
Both male and female cottontails are promiscuous. Their courtship consists of his running at her and her leaping over him and variations on this thrilling theme. The actual mating, which is brief (quick like a bunny, in fact), stimulates ovulation in the female. After a gestation of just under a month, she typically gives birth to four or five young. She may have three or even four litters a year.

Just before giving birth, she releases a sexually alluring scent (pheromone) that attracts males, and immediately after giving birth she is ready to mate again.

And that is why, even though they are bunny McNuggets to plenty of predators, including coyotes, owls, hawks, domestic dogs and cats, bobcats, foxes, and weasels, there are always more rabbits available to plunder your garden.

7 comments:

  1. Hmmm . . . Sounds like rabbits should be the new Soylent Green. A significantly renewable resource.

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  2. I saw this running, jumping behavior many years ago and I've always wondered what what going on!

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  3. I've heard about rabbits dancing in the moonlight. Is that just moonshine or a variation on the bunny hop?

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  4. And as cute as they are, I'd be happy to have a few less around chewing my pentas and hostas. I reached into a nest of newbies by accident while weeding one time, all ears and tiny bodies overlapping in a perfect 6 inch circle. Wasn't expecting soft warm fur in the chickweed. Cute but surprising! The mother moved them within the hour. Can't say I was happy to have them in my flower bed, but I never would have disturbed them on purpose. Something special about a nest of soft furry babies, pests or not.

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  5. These rabbits have a great defense against predators. Just vastly outnumbering them at every turn.

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  6. Hi Ratty! Thanks for taking time off from your blog http://everyday-adventurer.blogspot.com/ to stop by!

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  7. To hell with the individual, so long as the species survives! Interesting concept.

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