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April 1, 2015 Comments (0) Fauna

The Jackalope

Jackalope (Lepus cornutus) is a medium to large lagomorph found only in small pockets of the Western United States, the largest populations being found near Douglas Wyoming and Groom Lake in Southern Nevada. Contrary to popular belief Jackalope are not the result of amorousness between an antelope and a jackrabbit, but rather they are a unique species of hare with pronged antlers that are only found in the United States.

Their canny ability to blend in with their environment is one of the main reasons there are so few actual Jackalope sightings

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Though little is known about the Jackalope, some knowledge of this rare and secretive species has been obtained through anecdotal evidence from cowboys and frontiersmen, and does offers some insights into their behavior and habitat. Jackalope are mostly found in areas of scrub brush and open spaces where their mottled brown fur and pronged horns provide excellent camouflage by mimicking the sage brush of the countryside. This canny ability to blend in with their environment is one of the main reasons there are so few actual Jackalope sightings or photos. The other factor in their continued anonymity is their sheer quickness. Jackalope are extremely fast runners- the fastest of all animals in North America and able to reach speeds of nearly 90 miles per hour over flat ground. They use this blinding speed to avoid trouble, but also will not hesitate to use their horns for self-defense by goring anything that is up to three feet off the ground. Jackalope will also scar trees and fence posts with their horns in order to to mark their territory and as a warning to lesser predators such as mountain lions to just move on.

Unlike most other lagomorphs such as rabbits, Jackalope only breed at night during lightning storms. As the static electricity builds in the atmosphere, Jackalopes will begin to congregate under the night sky in preparation for their congress. On the dark best of nights Coyboys in isolated country have heard the vocalizations of the Jackalope who will sing along to the campfire songs of the men. They are most likely lured to the camp by the firelight and the scent of whiskey which is the favorite food of all Jackalopes.

So remember to always take precautions when camping in Jackalope territory and ensure that whiskey is not left out at night, for the bottle will most likely be empty by sunrise.

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