Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

 

 

Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae, there are eight different genera in the family classified as rabbits.   More than half the world’s rabbit population resides in North America.   They are also native to southwestern Europe, Southeast Asia, Sumatra, some islands of Japan, and in parts of Africa and South America.   Rabbit habitats include meadows, woods, forests, grasslands, deserts and wetlands.

The rabbit’s long ears, which can be more than 4 inches long, are probably an adaptation for detecting predators. They have large, powerful hind legs. The two front paws have 5 toes, the extra called the dewclaw. The hind feet have 4 toes. Rabbits have full, egg-shaped bodies and their size can range anywhere from 8-20 inches in length and 0.4-2.0 kg in weight.   The fur is most commonly long and soft, with colors such as shades of brown, gray, buff and white. The tail is a little plume of fur. Rabbit teeth grow constantly and if the rabbit is not able to gnaw on things to keep them down, then their teeth can grow extremely long which causes pain and often death to the rabbit.

Rabbits are herbivores that feed by grazing on grass, forbs, nuts, berries, fruit, vegetables and leafy weeds.   They will graze heavily and rapidly for roughly the first half hour of a grazing period and then graze at intervals.   Rabbits dig burrows into the ground where they hide and store food.

Rabbits carry a reputation for being a prolific breeder.   They will give birth and raise their babies in their burrows.   Females (known as a “doe”) have an average gestation period of just over a month and then giving birth to an average of 6 babies but can have as many as 12 in their litter. In just a year, one doe rabbit will have an average of 20 babies.   Babies (known as “kits”) are born blind, deaf and furless, but in just 8 days they will be covered in fur and their eyes open by day 10.   The kits will be independent in 30 days and the doe will be expecting again.

 

Information courtesy of wikipedia.org/wiki/rabbit, a-z-animals.com/animals/rabbit/

Photo courtesy of wild-life-adventures.blogspot.com