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cottontail rabbit

cottontail rabbit, animal of the order Lagomorpha, which includes the hares and rabbits, except for the domestic, or European, rabbit, which is in a separate species. Members of the genus Sylvilagus, cottontails have large ears and short legs and move with a scurrying or scampering gait. Unlike the European rabbit, they do not dig their own burrows but make a nest in a depression in the ground. Unlike hares, they seek protection in hiding rather than in swift flight. The cottontail ranges from the southern border of Canada to N Argentina. There are six races. Cottontails are a common source of tularemia, or rabbit fever. They are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Lagomorpha, family Leporidae.

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cottontail

cot·ton·tail / ˈkätnˌtāl/ • n. an American rabbit (genus Sylvilagus) that has a speckled brownish coat and a white underside to the tail.

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cottontail

cottontail Common name for several species of N. American lagomorphs of the genus Sylvilagus. See also LEPORIDAE.

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cottontail

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