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Not so vegan after all: Yukon’s snowshoe hares are cannibalistic carnivores

Not so vegan after all: Yukon’s snowshoe hares are cannibalistic carnivores

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Your fluffy pet bunny’s cousin is actually a carnivore-and a cannibal, new photographs reveal for the first time. Snowshoe hares in Canada’s Yukon Territory eat meat to supplement their diets during long winters in one of the coldest places on Earth. During summer months, the mammals feed on vegetation, but when snow blankets the landscape and temperatures plunge to 30 below, hungry hares scavenge other hare carcasses, as well as several species of birds. (See “Friends For Dinner: Why Some Animals Become Cannibals.”) And, in an ironic twist on natural selection, hares also dine on dead Canada lynx-their main predator, says Michael Peers, a Ph.D. candidate in ecology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, who led a new study on the phenomenon in Bio One Complete. “It was shocking to see the first time,” says Peers, who believes the hares are boosting their protein intake during harsh times. “I had no idea they actually scavenge.”
Source: Not so vegan after all: Yukon’s snowshoe hares are cannibalistic carnivores