swamps also have shorter and more rounded ears than cottontails (comparatively); but again can be hard to tell in photos depending on the ear view.
Their more yellowish ring around the eye is probably thanks to wideband gene I suspect - have not looked that up - but their overall coat colour as well tends to be more yellow-orangish in the white bands of the agouti pattern than cottontail (hence why they tend to be a bit darker; because the typically white band on the hair shaft is also yellowy-orange); and that is the only gene I’m aware of in rabbits that causes such a color cast to even the white areas of the agouti coloration pattern that both swamp and cottontail have. The amount of orange we still say in the rabbit world “modifying genes” because they really aren’t elucidated yet. The variance in “how much orange” is still huge. Check out https://www.gbfarm.org/rabbit/holland-colors-wideband.shtml look at the orange (not wideband) vs red (wideband) to see how the orange pulls into the eyebands and other typically agouti-white-locations, but the belly photos on two of the reds show just how variable it is!
I kinda wish there was a complex for it tbh; the color cast and ear roundness can both be easily warped by the photograph - color temp, time of day taken, angle taken. not that you can’t tell in a photograph, but also without notes or something, typically I find it hard to be certain on due to those things. Some are obvious, but many photos could be swayed either way. I tend to look at location too.
(I raised rabbits for 20 years and was pretty known for coat color genetics and determining the funky stuff that popped up :) )
I generally don’t look at ear shape because they can move them so much that it’s not really reliable. Besides the orange ring around the eyes, I have noticed swamp rabbits have more black fur on their back. I have also noticed their heads look more block shaped whereas the eastern cottontail has a more triangular shape. Habitat is a good indicator too. I usually consider everything together to help me decide which species.
Same! A good photo is usually ID’able. I don’t look at ears alone - but they are helpful. There is variance in the eye banding in both species too, so I don’t find any one thing good enough personally, agreed it is all taken together.
But rabbits tend to be photographed so often - and so poorly - that’s why I kinda wish there was a complex option to narrow it to the one of two species here.
Work is slow today so I’m jumping on the #IdentiFriday bandwagon! One question: I’ve seen a few folks mention a Discord channel with some coordination or additional iNat chat. Anyone have an invite link?
I changed it recently because the thumbnail was the same photo for the swamp rabbit species and cottontail genus. I’m not partial to the replacement photo for the swamp rabbit. I can change it again. The photo you linked might not be good for the thumbnail, but I can put it in the first 5.
Relatedly, as I’ve been annotating the “Lepidoptera” level from the oldest end, it’s so cool to see nowadays that on Fridays, there’s a sudden new influx of Lepidoptera records to annotate right on my first page. ;)
(Don’t worry if your id workflow makes it hard to annotate the leps, in other words- I have your back for now.)
My latest bite of my elephant was mammals from the Peninsula. 400 mostly can’t help ID, so will annotate - track, scat, dead bones - the residue that Needs ID.
But I did find a sambar! (If I saw one on the mountain I would be convinced I was hallucinating - a deer the size of a horse)
I can click on it and it tries to run. But I can’t seem to change the parameters to my I’d after it runs. I could copy it someplace and modify it, but then I don’t know where to go to run it, if you know what I mean.
well, you’re a better plant identifier than i am. i scanned though about 600 observations and ended up with maybe 25 species IDs that i felt good about. i might do some more later though. maybe they get easier as they get more recent.
If I started on page 1 and went through every single observation I would be bored to death. I jump around a lot so I do some really old ones and some not quite as old ones. I didn’t do anything uploaded after 2018 today. I did 60 IDs and moved 29 of those to RG.
Just out of curiosity I checked and found that out of the 8,216 verifiable plant observations that I have IDed (mine not included), 875 of them were submitted before 2017 (I joined iNat in Apr 2017) and 340 of those are now RG (I didn’t necessarily bring them to RG myself). Good to see that looking at old observations does make a difference.