Why Do Snowshoe Rabbits Turn White In the Winter?

Different animals have different ways of protecting themselves from their enemies.

The snowshoe rabbit is protected by its coloring. This animal is brown like the earth in summer, then becomes white like the snow in winter.

Actually, the snowshoe rabbit is really a hare; its correct name is the varying hare. Its varying, or changing, color is the result of molting, or losing its fur and growing in new fur.

The snowshoe rabbit molts twice in a year, once in the autumn, when it turns white, and then in the spring, when its new fur grows in brown.

Snowshoe rabbits have large dark eyes, and they move silently on their large padded feet, which are like snowshoes. When they are frightened, they stand very still, and because they blend so well with their background, they are very hard to see.

Even if a snowshoe rabbit is taken from its native environment, where the seasons change, to one where the seasons do not change, the animal will continue to vary its fur color at the same time each year.

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