Spring in the backyard

I spotted the first one out of the corner of my eye, just outside the kitchen window. A bunny! And then there were two of them. Hopping in the yard and eating grass.

They were brown with white tails. Nothing fancy, just common garden-variety bunnies, but I marveled at they way they blended in with the still-brown grass and patches of white snow not yet melted from winter. They served as a true demonstration of nature’s perfect camouflage right there in my own backyard.

It turns out there’s more than camouflage working in the color of their body (and tail) fur. Researchers believe that the white tail evolved as a way to confuse predators that give chase. These predators focus on the white tail. As Mr. Rabbit darts back and forth the white tail flashes in and out of sight, confusing said predator and giving our friend, the bunny, an advantage. Sounds good to me. I’ve always had a soft spot for bunnies.

 

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