Digest: How the snowshoe hare got its brown coat: Convergent evolution or gene flow?*

Ottenburghs, Jente


The winter-brown phenotype of snowshoe hares in the Pacific Northwest was acquired through hybridization with black-tailed jackrabbits. Some snowshoe hares in more northern boreal populations exhibit the same phenotype, but how did they acquire it? Jones and colleagues show that the phenotype in the boreal populations is the outcome of convergent evolution, highlighting the importance of understanding the genetic basis of a trait in reconstructing its evolution.