What Are Adaptations for a Cottontail Rabbit?

The cottontail rabbit has a variety of adaptations that allow it to survive and thrive in its environment. Its continuously growing teeth allow the cottontail rabbit to feed on twigs, barks and other tough food without dulling its teeth during winter when food is scarce. Its flexible and strong legs enable it to jump up to 8 feet and make quick direction changes to elude its predator.

A cottontail rabbit has excellent eyesight and eyes that are positioned on either side of its head. Its eyes are larger than other types of rabbits and, coupled with its keen hearing, allow it to detect danger for better survival. It can run up to 18 miles an hour if it detects danger and may often run in a zigzag pattern to escape its predator. Cottontail rabbits have a soft, grizzly, brown-and-gray fur with a white underbelly. Its coloring helps the rabbit blend with the colors of the underbrush and thus prevent an attack.

According to National Geographic, wild cottontail rabbits have an average life span of less than three years. Only about 15 percent of newborn rabbits are able to survive in the first year. Fortunately, like other rabbits, they reproduce and mature quickly, allowing their species to adapt and survive even with the changing environment.