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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Troglodytic cottontails

Why would a cottontail rabbit -- in this case Audubon's cottontail (Sylvilagus auduboni) -- visit a cave? 

A cave where a gray fox napped a few weeks earlier?

Here's the story.

The troglodytic rabbit showed up at 6:00 in the morning, 

and for two and half minutes hopped about exploring various corners and niches. 

Places where grass or forbs don't grow. 


Places where in the unlikely event of the appearance of a hungry carnivore the only route of escape would be into the waiting jaws and paws of a fox, coyote or bobcat. 

The rabbit seems to have been too preoccupied to think about predators, but it briefly checked the camera before taking leave.

It makes you wonder. 

Then a half hour later a juvenile bunny made an appearance lasting a minute and a half.  

Before leaving it visited at least one of the places of its predecessor.

Keep these troglodytic bunny incidents in mind as you read forthcoming posts about the sandstone cave.

After we meet the other cave visitors we'll revisit the question -- what the heck is going on here?


reverend dick said...

Seeking minerals?

Camera Trap Codger said...

Indeed, that's a possibility.

Owen said...

could it not be the castoreum?

Camera Trap Codger said...

It could be -- but the castoreum is on a twig in the center of the floor. It looks like it's searching for something else.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Just another examples of animals failing to read, in this case, the cottontail rabbit manual.

viagra online said...

Beautiful rabbit, I love animals.
Talking about the cave I always wish to caving.
Thanks for sharing.