All photographs copyright (2003-2013) by Kris H. Light

<b>Appalachian Cottontail</b>  <i>Sylvilagus obscurus</i>
Appalachian Cottontail Sylvilagus obscurus
I enjoyed watching this Appalachian Cottontail rabbit on Gregory Bald in the Smokies. It was surprisingly unafraid of people, it was less than 10 feet away from me and just munched the grass contentedly. The uncommon Appalachian cottontails have a diffuse gray cheek patch, eastern cottontail rabbits do not.
Rabbits are prey animals, one of the adaptations they have is movable ears. The ears move independently to pick up on sounds made by predators. Another adaptation is the side-set eyes; prey animals have their eyes on the side of their head for a wide angle of view. Meat-eating animals, like dogs, cats, owls (and humans!) have their eyes on the front of their heads for better depth of field.