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Snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus), North Cascades National Park, 2012.
Seen at the beginning of August, this snowshoe hare has a few patches of winter-white mottling his fur. Have you ever wondered what is the difference between a rabbit and a hare? There are many but one of the main differences is at birth. Rabbits have altricial young which means they are born helpless and bald while hares have precocial young. This means that hares are born with hair and are already able to see, so are more quickly able to fend for themselves. This hare is named 'snowshoe' because of the large size of its hind feet and the marks its tail leaves. The animal's large feet prevent it from sinking into the snow when it hops and walks. The soles of its feet are also furry to protect from freezing temperatures.
U.S. National Park Service
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North Cascades National Park, Code: NOCA
Title: North Cascades National Park
Organization: North Cascades National Park
Address: 810 South Route 20, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

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