Eastern Cottontail - Reproduction

Reproduction

The onset of breeding varies between populations and within populations from year to year. The eastern cottontail breeding season begins later with higher latitudes and elevations. Temperature rather than diet has been suggested as a primary factor controlling onset of breeding; many studies correlate severe weather with delays in the onset of breeding. In New England breeding occurs from March to September. In New York the breeding season occurs from February to September, in Connecticut from mid-March to mid-September. In Alabama the breeding season begins in January. In Georgia the breeding season lasts 9 months and in Texas breeding occurs year-round. Populations in western Oregon breed from late January to early September. Mating is promiscuous.

The nest is a slanting hole dug in soft soil and lined with vegetation and fur. The average measurements are: length 7.09 inches (18.03 cm), width 4.9 inches (12.57 cm), and depth 4.71 inches (11.94 cm). The average period of gestation is 28 days, ranging from 25 to 35 days. Eastern cottontail young are born with a very fine coat of hair and are blind. Their eyes begin to open by 4 to 7 days. Young begin to move out of the nest for short trips by 12 to 16 days and are completely weaned and independent by 4 to 5 weeks. Litters disperse at about 7 weeks. Females do not stay in the nest with the young but return to the opening of the nest to nurse, usually twice a day.

Reproductive maturity occurs at about 2 to 3 months of age. A majority of females first breed the spring following birth; but 10% to 36% of females breed as juveniles (i.e., summer of the year they were born). Males will mate with more than one female. Female rabbits can have 1 to 7 litters of 1 to 12 young, called kits, in a year; however, the average number of litters per year is 3–4 and the average number of kits is 5. In the South female eastern cottontails have more litters per year (up to 7) but fewer young per litter. In New England female eastern cottontails have three or four litters per year. The annual productivity of females may be as high as 35 young.

Read more about this topic:  Eastern Cottontail

Other articles related to "reproduction":

Mediterranean Monk Seal - Description - Reproduction
... Very little is known of this seal's reproduction ... Scientists have suggested they are polygynous, with males being very territorial where they mate with females ...
Wright Model A - Reproductions
... An exact reproduction of the 1909 Military Flyer is on display in the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio ... This reproduction was constructed in 1955 by museum personnel ... It is equipped with an original engine personally donated for the reproduction by Orville Wright, while the chains, sprockets, and propellers were all donated by ...
Reproduction - Lottery Principle
... Sexual reproduction has many drawbacks, since it requires far more energy than asexual reproduction and diverts the organisms from other pursuits, and there is some argument about why so many ... used lottery tickets as an analogy in one explanation for the widespread use of sexual reproduction ... He argued that asexual reproduction, which produces little or no genetic variety in offspring, was like buying many tickets that all have the same number, limiting the chance of "winning" - that is ...
Reproduction (economics) - Theoretical Approach
... As an approach to studying economic activity, economic reproduction contrasts with equilibrium economics, because economic reproduction is concerned not with statics or with how ... In Marx's view, economic reproduction in any society has five main features the production of reproducible products (goods or services) replacing, maintaining or adding to the ... the reproduction and growth of the total population, including procreation and childrearing ...

Famous quotes containing the word reproduction:

    The chief function of the city is to convert power into form, energy into culture, dead matter into the living symbols of art, biological reproduction into social creativity.
    Lewis Mumford (1895–1990)

    An original is a creation
    motivated by desire.
    Any reproduction of an original
    is motivated by necessity ...
    It is marvelous that we are
    the only species that creates
    gratuitous forms.
    To create is divine, to reproduce
    is human.
    Man Ray (1890–1976)

    As the twentieth century ends, commerce and culture are coming closer together. The distinction between life and art has been eroded by fifty years of enhanced communications, ever-improving reproduction technologies and increasing wealth.
    Stephen Bayley (b. 1951)