The 17 species of cottontails are entirely New World rabbits, in a different genus from domestic ones. They are distributed from Southern Canada to Northern Argentina. Eight are found in Mexico. This species, found in most of Mexico, as well as a large area of the western US, is named in honor of the famous bird painter, who also collected and painted many mammals. Cottontails make frequent appearances in the mythology and art of both the Mayans and Aztecs. In Mayan and Chinese tradition, a rabbit is the companion of the Moon Goddess.
Before the 1970s, this Northern South American monkey was very rare in captivity, but an improved understanding of its diet and health have led to this species being bred frequently, so that it is now one of the most widely-kept New World primates in American zoos. This is one of a relatively small number of primates where the sexes are easily told by their color; males are black with white faces, while females are grayish with a whitish line on either side of the muzzle.