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Hares are no longer turning white during the winter – fox news

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Hares are no longer turning white during the winter – fox news
Animals are losing their ability to blend in with their surroundings thanks to climate change, a new study suggests.Experts found that snowshoe hares in some parts of the US are not developing a white winter coat as expected, in response to lower levels of snowfall.Understanding animals’ responses to the climate will become increasingly important as changes become more extreme in the future, researchers say.Animals in the extreme north, especially those adapted to survive harsh winters, are particularly vulnerable as these regions are experiencing the greatest changes.Agricultural scientists from Penn State University compared data from a study of snowshoe hares conducted in 2007 in the Yukon region of Canada with information collected from 70 Pennsylvania hares trapped in 2014 and 2015.Snowshoe hares are brown in the summer and develop a white coat in the winter to avoid predators.They found that the hares from the Eastern US had shorter, less-dense and less-white winter coats than their northern counterparts.Snowshoe hares got their name from their unusually large back feet which help them move in heavy snow.Having large back feet is not the only adaptation the small hare’s have for life in the snow, their white winter coat helps them blend in with the snowy background.Researchers believe the changes are the result of the animals adapting to less snow caused by the warmer climate.’We trapped three hares in January that were almost completely brown, and it’s the first time t
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5418209/Hares-no-longer-turning-white-winter.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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