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Cottontail rabbit facts for kids

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Cottontail rabbits
Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus)Cottontail Rabbits eat grass, ferns, and leaves.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Lagomorpha
Family: Leporidae
Genus: Sylvilagus
Gray, 1867

16, see text

Cottontail rabbits live in America. They are any of several North, Central and South American rabbit species of the genus Sylvilagus.


Most cottontail rabbits of the genus have a short tail with a white underside that shows when they are running away. This gives them their name, "cottontails." However, this feature is not present in all cottontails. Some can be different.

The cottontail rabbit lives most across North America, Central America, and South America. Most species live in nests called forms.

Cottontail rabbits do not get the disease myxomatosis as easily as European rabbits.

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