Pat Shingleton: "A Cool Jack Rabbit"
Sunday's column noted how the turkey vulture avoids overheating. Nature provided the black-tailed jackrabbit with a means of keeping cool. Easily identified by its oversize ears, these trademark appendages increase the hare's audio range to avoid predators. Due to the abundance of blood vessels, its 7-inch ears are also a cooling mechanism that dissipate heat and regulate its body temperature. The black-tailed jackrabbit also has a voracious appetite and can easily adapt to the heat and climate of Death Valley. Like many desert animals of this region, it gets its water from plants. To adjust to the seasonal changes it switches its grazing patterns by waiting until the hot summer to load-up on water-filled cacti and grasses; often eating several times its body weight per day to stay hydrated.