Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world.
There are eight different genera in the family classified as rabbits.
Today their are more than 50 different species of rabbit and the number continues to increase as the selectivebreeding of pet rabbits becomes more popular.
The expected lifespan of a rabbit is about 9 to 12 years. The oldest rabbit on record was 18 year old.
They are characterized by long ears and legs, large hind feet, a short and bushy tail.
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.
Small rabbit species can be as little as 20 centimeters (8 inches) in length and weigh less than 0.5 kilogram (1 pound). Larger rabbits grow to 50 centimeters (20 inches) and more than 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds).
Rabbits have an excellent sense of smell, hearing and vision. They have nearly 360° panoramic vision, allowing them to detect predators from all directions. They can see everything behind them and only have a small blind-spot in front of their nose.
Rabbits are territorial animals which live in large groups called colonies. They live in warrens (group of burrows) comprising of an intricate series of underground tunnels with different entrances and exits.
The busiest time of day for rabbits is at dusk and dawn. This is when they venture out to find food. The low light allows them to hide from predators.
Rabbits are herbivores that feed on mainly on grass, but rabbits also eat nuts and berries and often fruit and vegetables.
Rabbits have extremely strong hind limbs which allow them to leap great distances. They can jump up to one meter (3.3 feet) high and three meters (9.8 feet) long.
They are natural runners and can reach speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour (37 miles per hour).
When rabbits ‘binky’, this is an expression of joy. They will run, jump into the air, twist their body and flick their feet.
Body language is their primary mode of communication but they do make some vocalizations for example low humming when running around an individual is a signal of affection.
Rabbits stand upright on their hind legs to give themselves a better vantage point to look for predators. They alert other rabbits to the presence of danger by thumping their hind legs.
Rabbits are known for their insatiable reproductive habits for good reason. They breed 3 to 4 times each year. This is because only 15% of baby rabbits make it to their first birthday. So, to ensure that the population grows, rabbits have more babies.
The average gestation period for rabbits is 31 days; however, it can vary from 29 to 35 days.
Rabbits can have anywhere from 1 to 14 babies, also called kits, in one litter. An average litter size is 6.
The largest litter of rabbits ever reported consisted of 24 kits. After 4 to 5 weeks, a kit can care for itself.
If there is a lack of natural predators, an area can quickly become overrun with rabbits.
There are a lot of animals that hunt rabbits. They are a primary consumer so they are at the bottom of the food chain. So the animals that feed on rabbits include fox, coyotes, wolves, lynx, weasels, raccoon, large birds such as hawks, eagles, owls.
A male rabbit is called a buck, and a female is called a doe. A baby rabbit is called a kit, which is short for kitten. Bunny is just an affectionate name for a rabbit, young or adult.
The rabbit is one of the most recognizable and well-loved creatures in the animal kingdom.
Domesticated for thousands of years, rabbits are bred for their meat, their fur, and of course, for companionship.
There are an estimated 14 million pet rabbits in the world.
The World’s Largest Rabbit named “Darius” weighs approximately 22 kilograms 49 pounds and is currently 130 centimeters 4 feet, 3 inches. Although this might sound unbelievable, “Darius” is indeed a real rabbit that currently lives with its owner Annette Edwards from the UK.
Their ears can be as long as 10 centimeters (4 inches).
Those big front teeth, called incisors, get all the attention, but an adult rabbit actually has a full set of 28 teeth.
Believe it or not, a rabbit’s teeth never stop growing throughout its life.
The average heart rate of a rabbit ranges between 130-325 beats per minute.
Rabbits are often used as a symbol of fertility or rebirth, and have long been associated with spring and Easter as the Easter Bunny.
They appear in folklore and modern children’s stories, often but not invariably as sympathetic characters.
The rabbit as trickster appears in American popular culture; for example the Br’er Rabbit character from African-American folktales and Disney animation; and the Warner Bros. cartoon character Bugs Bunny.
A rabbit’s foot is carried as an amulet believed to bring good luck. This is found in many parts of the world, and with the earliest use being in Europe around 600 B.C.
Rabbits are one of the twelve celestial animals in the Chinese Zodiac for the Chinese calendar.
Rabbits and hares are two different species. The biggest difference between the two is what their babies look like at birth. Newborn hares are born with fur and are able to move as well as see shortly after birth.