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Posted by HRS on Feb 1, Are You a Rabbit Person? Posted by HRS on Jun 10, Sarcocystis study — A ne Las Vegas Rabbit Crisis Feb 21, Current Rabbit Confiscations a Latest Chapter Grant to the Up Latest Emergency Rescue Grant Many rabbits dig burrows , but cottontails and hispid hares do not.

The European rabbit constructs the most extensive burrow systems, called warrens. Nonburrowing rabbits make surface nests called forms, generally under dense protective cover.

The European rabbit occupies open landscapes such as fields, parks, and gardens , although it has colonized habitats from stony deserts to subalpine valleys.

It is the most social rabbit, sometimes forming groups in warrens of up to 20 individuals. However, even in European rabbits social behaviour can be quite flexible, depending on habitat and other local conditions, so that at times the primary social unit is a territorial breeding pair.

Most rabbits are relatively solitary and sometimes territorial, coming together only to breed or occasionally to forage in small groups.

Rabbits are active throughout the year; no species is known to hibernate. Rabbits are generally nocturnal, and they also are relatively silent.

Other than loud screams when frightened or caught by a predator, the only auditory signal known for most species is a loud foot thump made to indicate alarm or aggression.

A notable exception is the volcano rabbit Romerolagus diazi of Mexico, which utters a variety of calls.

Instead of sound, scent seems to play a predominant role in the communication systems of most rabbits; they possess well-developed glands throughout their body and rub them on fixed objects to convey group identity, sex, age, social and reproductive status, and territory ownership.

Urine is also used in chemical communication see animal communication. When danger is perceived, the general tendency of rabbits is to freeze and hide under cover.

If chased by a predator, they engage in quick, irregular movement, designed more to evade and confuse than to outdistance a pursuer.

Skeletal adaptations such as long hind limbs and a strengthened pelvic girdle enable their agility and speed up to 80 km [50 miles] per hour.

Rabbits must consume plant material in large quantities to ensure proper nutrition, and thus they have large digestive tracts. Their diet, consisting primarily of grasses and forbs herbs other than grasses , contains large amounts of cellulose , which is hard to digest.

Rabbits solve this problem by passing two distinctive types of feces: Chewed plant material collects in the large cecum , a secondary chamber between the large and small intestine containing large quantities of symbiotic bacteria that aid in the digestion of cellulose and also produce certain B vitamins.

The soft feces form here and contain up to five times the vitamins of hard feces. After being excreted, they are eaten by the rabbit and redigested in a special part of the stomach.

This double-digestion process enables rabbits to utilize nutrients that they may have missed during the first passage through the gut and thus ensures that maximum nutrition is derived from the food they eat.

Most rabbits produce many offspring kittens each year, although scarcity of resources may cause this potential to be suppressed. A combination of factors allows the high rates of reproduction commonly associated with rabbits.

Rabbits generally are able to breed at a young age, and many regularly conceive litters of up to seven young, often doing so four or five times a year.

In addition, females does exhibit induced ovulation , their ovaries releasing eggs in response to copulation rather than according to a regular cycle.

They can also undergo postpartum estrus , conceiving immediately after a litter has been born. Newborn rabbits are naked, blind, and helpless at birth altricial.

Mothers are remarkably inattentive to their young and are almost absentee parents, commonly nursing their young only once per day and for just a few minutes.

The young grow rapidly, and most are weaned in about a month. Males bucks do not assist in rearing the kittens. Both wild and domestic rabbits are of economic importance to people.

Wild lagomorphs are popular with hunters for sport as well as for food and fur. Rabbit meat , known for its delicate flavor, remains an important source of protein in many cultures.

Domestic rabbits are raised for meat and skins, the latter being used as pelts and for making felt. The timing of rabbit domestication is a matter of some debate.

Fossil and archaeological records suggest that wild rabbits have been hunted for meat and furs since the Pleistocene Epoch 2. The oldest historical record of rabbits being kept as livestock appears in the writings of Roman author and satirist Marcus Terentius Varro in the 1st century bce.

Fossil records and other evidence also suggest that rabbits were delivered on ships to several islands in the Mediterranean such as the Balearic Islands by the 14th century bce , Malta by the 3rd century ce , and the islands of the eastern Mediterranean by the Middle Ages.

A comparison of the genomes the entire set of chromosomes and their genes of domesticated European rabbits and their wild counterparts in France suggests that the two groups became effectively isolated from one another between 17, and 12, years ago, possibly in connection with the retreat of continental ice sheets and mountain glaciers in southwestern Europe during this time.

The combination of fossil and written records and DNA analysis points to rabbit domestication originating sometime between the retreat of the ice sheets and the 1st century bce in southwestern Europe.

Studies suggest that the process of rabbit domestication occurred over hundreds if not thousands of years, because it depended upon a number of natural and human-driven factors acting together rather than a single discrete event.

Nevertheless, a legend persists—popular though untrue—that European rabbits became domesticated about ce after monks from southern France bred them for meat because the Roman Catholic Church supposedly allowed the flesh of young rabbits to be consumed during Lent.

Today there are more than 50 established strains of domestic rabbits, all selectively bred from this one species.

Their attractive appearance and quiet manner have made domestic rabbits good and relatively undemanding pets. Because they are easily raised in captivity, rabbits are also important as laboratory animals for medical and scientific purposes.

However, rabbits may also carry and transmit to humans diseases such as tularemia , or rabbit fever. Because of their frequent local abundance, rabbits and hares are important in many terrestrial food chains.

Mammals of the family Leporidae. For domesticated breeds including pets , see Domestic rabbit. For the woodworking term, see Rabbet.

For other uses, see Rabbit disambiguation. For other uses, see Bunny disambiguation. Nesolagus netscheri Sumatran Striped Rabbit Model.

Oryctolagus cuniculus European rabbit Feral Tasmanian specimen. Pentalagus furnessi Amami rabbit Taxidermy specimen. Romerolagus diazi Volcano rabbit Taxidermy specimen.

Sylvilagus aquaticus Swamp rabbit Juvenile. Sylvilagus brasiliensis Tapeti Taxidermy specimen. Sylvilagus palustris hefneri Lower Keys marsh rabbit.

This genus is extinct. Genus Romerolagus Volcano rabbit , Romerolagus diazi Genus Sylvilagus Swamp rabbit , Sylvilagus aquaticus Desert cottontail , Sylvilagus audubonii Brush rabbit , Sylvilagus bachmani Forest rabbit , Sylvilagus brasiliensis Mexican cottontail , Sylvilagus cunicularis Dice's cottontail , Sylvilagus dicei Eastern cottontail , Sylvilagus floridanus Tres Marias rabbit , Sylvilagus graysoni Omilteme cottontail , Sylvilagus insonus San Jose brush rabbit , Sylvilagus mansuetus Mountain cottontail , Sylvilagus nuttallii Marsh rabbit , Sylvilagus palustris New England cottontail , Sylvilagus transitionalis.

For a more comprehensive list, see Category: Rabbits and hares in art. List of fictional hares and rabbits. This section relies largely or entirely on a single source.

Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this article by introducing citations to additional sources.

Rabbits and hares portal. Retrieved 30 March Retrieved 2 March Archived from the original on 1 February Retrieved 30 January Archived from the original on 6 January Retrieved 5 January What Do You Call a Group of?

Archived from the original on 20 March Retrieved 26 February How to Care for Your Rabbit. Carpenter, Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery 3rd ed.

Journal of Veterinary Behavior. Retrieved 27 February Archived from the original on 23 September Retrieved 9 August Practical anatomy of the rabbit.

Johns Hopkins University Press. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. Functional implications of muscle design". The Mammals of North America.

The North American Veterinary Conference. Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents: Clinical Medicine and Surgery. Clinical, Medicine, and Surgery. Archived from the original on 23 June Retrieved 30 August Rabbits are physically incapable of vomiting.

Answer to Pop Quiz ". Archived from the original on 10 February Archived from the original on 21 September Retrieved 21 September Journal of Experimental Animal Science.

Holland, National Geographic Vol. For The Love of Parsley. Australia's War Against Rabbits. Archived from the original on 7 June Archived from the original on 2 March Retrieved 8 April Archived from the original on 2 April Department of Biology at the University of Miami.

Archived from the original on 19 June Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Archived from the original on 20 December Retrieved 20 December Archived PDF from the original on 4 March Wiley Blackwell, , p.

Lantern Books, , p. Guinness World Records Archived from the original on 4 August Retrieved 7 July Archived from the original on 21 July Archived from the original on 12 June From Farm to Table".

Archived from the original on 5 July Archived 23 April at the Wayback Machine. Archived from the original on 26 May Rabbit Genomics, Transgenesis, Cloning and Models.

Archived from the original on 26 April An Ethnography , p. The Occult in Folklore and Popular Culture. University Press of Kentucky.

Chinese red pika O. Family Leporidae Rabbits and Hares.

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An older term for an adult rabbit is coney , while rabbit once referred only to the young animals. More recently, the term kit or kitten has been used to refer to a young rabbit.

A group of rabbits is known as a colony or nest or, occasionally, a warren , though this more commonly refers to where the rabbits live.

Rabbits and hares were formerly classified in the order Rodentia rodent until , when they were moved into a new order, Lagomorpha which also includes pikas.

Below are some of the genera and species of the rabbit. Hares are precocial , born relatively mature and mobile with hair and good vision, while rabbits are altricial , born hairless and blind, and requiring closer care.

Hares and cottontail rabbits live a relatively solitary life in a simple nest above the ground, while most rabbits live in social groups underground in burrows or warrens.

Hares are generally larger than rabbits, with ears that are more elongated, and with hind legs that are larger and longer.

Hares have not been domesticated , while descendants of the European rabbit are commonly bred as livestock and kept as pets.

Rabbits have long been domesticated. Beginning in the Middle Ages , the European rabbit has been widely kept as livestock , starting in ancient Rome.

Selective breeding has generated a wide variety of rabbit breeds , many of which since the early 19th century are also kept as pets. Some strains of rabbit have been bred specifically as research subjects.

As livestock, rabbits are bred for their meat and fur. The earliest breeds were important sources of meat, and so became larger than wild rabbits, but domestic rabbits in modern times range in size from dwarf to giant.

Rabbit fur, prized for its softness, can be found in a broad range of coat colors and patterns, as well as lengths. The Angora rabbit breed, for example, was developed for its long, silky fur, which is often hand-spun into yarn.

Other domestic rabbit breeds have been developed primarily for the commercial fur trade , including the Rex , which has a short plush coat.

Because the rabbit's epiglottis is engaged over the soft palate except when swallowing, the rabbit is an obligate nasal breather.

Rabbits have two sets of incisor teeth, one behind the other. This way they can be distinguished from rodents , with which they are often confused.

However, recent DNA analysis and the discovery of a common ancestor has supported the view that they do share a common lineage, and thus rabbits and rodents are now often referred to together as members of the superorder Glires.

Since speed and agility are a rabbit's main defenses against predators including the swift fox , rabbits have large hind leg bones and well developed musculature.

Though plantigrade at rest, rabbits are on their toes while running, assuming a more digitigrade form. Rabbits use their strong claws for digging and along with their teeth for defense.

Each hind foot has four toes but no dewclaw. Most wild rabbits especially compared to hares have relatively full, egg-shaped bodies. The soft coat of the wild rabbit is agouti in coloration or, rarely, melanistic , which aids in camouflage.

The tail of the rabbit with the exception of the cottontail species is dark on top and white below. Cottontails have white on the top of their tails.

As a result of the position of the eyes in its skull, the rabbit has a field of vision that encompasses nearly degrees, with just a small blind spot at the bridge of the nose.

The anatomy of rabbits hind limbs are structurally similar to that of other land mammals and contribute to their specialized form of locomotion.

The Bones of the hind limbs consist of long bones the femur, tibia, fibula, and phalanges as well as short bones the tarsals. These bones are created through endochondral ossification during development.

The femur articulates with the tibia, but not the fibula, which is fused to the tibia. The tibia and fibula articulate with the tarsals of the pes, commonly called the foot.

The hind limbs of the rabbit are longer than the front limbs. This allows them to produce their hopping form of locomotion. Longer hind limbs are more capable of producing faster speeds.

Hares , which have longer legs than cottontail rabbits , are able to move considerably faster. The hind feet have four long toes that allow for this and are webbed to prevent them from spreading when hopping.

Instead, they have coarse compressed hair that offers protection. Rabbits have muscled hind legs that allow for maximum force, maneuverability, and acceleration that is divided into three main parts; foot, thigh, and leg.

The hind limbs of a rabbit are an exaggerated feature, that are much longer than the forelimbs providing more force.

Rabbits run on their toes to gain the optimal stride during locomotion. The force put out by the hind limbs is contributed to both the structural anatomy of the fusion tibia and fibula, and muscular features.

Action pressure from muscles creates force that is then distributed through the skeletal structures. Rabbits that generate less force, putting less stress on bones are more prone to osteoporosis due to bone rarefaction.

For example, hares have a greater resistant to fatigue than cottontails. The muscles of rabbit's hind limbs can be classified into four main categories: The quadricep muscles are in charge of force production when jumping.

Complimenting these muscles are the hamstrings which aid in short bursts of action. These muscles play off of one another in the same way as the plantar flexors and doriflexors, contributing to the generation and actions associated with force.

Within the order lagomorphs , the ears are utilized to detect and avoid predators. In the family leporidae , the ears are typically longer than they are wide.

For example, in black tailed jack rabbits , their long ears cover a greater surface area relative to their body size that allow them to detect predators from far away.

Contrasted to cotton tailed rabbits, their ears are smaller and shorter, requiring predators to be closer to detect them before fleeing.

Evolution has favored rabbits to have shorter ears so the larger surface area does not cause them to lose heat in more temperate regions.

The opposite can be seen in rabbits that live in hotter climates, mainly because they possess longer ears that have a larger surface area that help with dispersion of heat as well as the theory that sound does not travel well in more arid air, opposed to cooler air.

Therefore, longer ears are meant to aid the organism in detecting prey sooner rather than later in warmer temperatures.

The ear muscles also aid in maintaining balance and movement when fleeing predators. The Auricle anatomy , also known as the pinna is a rabbit's outer ear.

Another theory is that the ears function as shock absorbers that could aid and stabilize rabbit's vision when fleeing predators, but this has typically only been seen in hares.

The middle ear is filled with three bones called ossicles and is separated by the outer eardrum in the back of the rabbit's skull. The three ossicles are called hammer, anvil, and stirrup and act to decrease sound before it hits the inner ear.

In general, the ossicles act as a barrier to the inner ear for sound energy. Inner ear fluid called endolymph receives the sound energy. After receiving the energy, later within the inner ear there are two parts: Within the cochlea there is a basilar membrane that contains sensory hair structures utilized to send nerve signals to the brain so it can recognize different sound frequencies.

Within the vestibular apparatus the rabbit possesses three semicircular canals to help detect angular motion. Thermoregulation is the process that an organism utilizes to maintain an optimal body temperature even if there are severe external conditions.

Homeostasis of body temperature is maintained by the use of their large, highly vascularized ears that are able to change the amount of blood flow that passes through the ears.

Constriction and dilation of blood vessels in the ears are used to control the core body temperature of a rabbit.

If the core temperature exceeds its optimal temperature greatly, blood flow is constricted to limit the amount of blood going through the vessels.

With this constriction, there is only a limited amount of blood that is passing through the ears where ambient heat would be able to heat the blood that is flowing through the ears and therefore, increasing the body temperature.

Constriction is also used when the ambient temperature is much lower than that of the rabbit's core body temperature. When the ears are constricted it again limits blood flow through the ears to conserve the optimal body temperature of the rabbit.

If the ambient temperature is either 15 degrees above or below the optimal body temperature, the blood vessels will dilate.

With the blood vessels being enlarged, the blood is able to pass through the large surface area which causes it to either heat or cool down.

During the summer, the rabbit has the capability to stretch its pinnae which allows for greater surface area and increase heat dissipation.

In the winter, the rabbit does the opposite and folds its ears in order to decrease its surface area to the ambient air which would decrease their body temperature.

The jackrabbit has the largest ears within the Oryctolagus cuniculus group. Their large pinna were evolved to maintain homeostasis while in the extreme temperatures of the desert.

Rabbits are herbivores that feed by grazing on grass , forbs , and leafy weeds. In consequence, their diet contains large amounts of cellulose , which is hard to digest.

Rabbits solve this problem via a form of hindgut fermentation. They pass two distinct types of feces: Rabbits reingest their own droppings rather than chewing the cud as do cows and numerous other herbivores to digest their food further and extract sufficient nutrients.

Rabbits graze heavily and rapidly for roughly the first half-hour of a grazing period usually in the late afternoon , followed by about half an hour of more selective feeding.

Hard pellets are made up of hay-like fragments of plant cuticle and stalk, being the final waste product after redigestion of soft pellets.

These are only released outside the burrow and are not reingested. Soft pellets are usually produced several hours after grazing, after the hard pellets have all been excreted.

Rabbits are hindgut digesters. This means that most of their digestion takes place in their large intestine and cecum.

Cecotropes, sometimes called "night feces", are high in minerals , vitamins and proteins that are necessary to the rabbit's health.

Rabbits eat these to meet their nutritional requirements; the mucous coating allows the nutrients to pass through the acidic stomach for digestion in the intestines.

This process allows rabbits to extract the necessary nutrients from their food. The chewed plant material collects in the large cecum, a secondary chamber between the large and small intestine containing large quantities of symbiotic bacteria that help with the digestion of cellulose and also produce certain B vitamins.

The soft feces form here and contain up to five times the vitamins of hard feces. After being excreted, they are eaten whole by the rabbit and redigested in a special part of the stomach.

The pellets remain intact for up to six hours in the stomach; the bacteria within continue to digest the plant carbohydrates. This double-digestion process enables rabbits to use nutrients that they may have missed during the first passage through the gut, as well as the nutrients formed by the microbial activity and thus ensures that maximum nutrition is derived from the food they eat.

Rabbits are incapable of vomiting. Rabbits may appear to be crepuscular , but their natural inclination is toward nocturnal activity. In addition to being at risk of disease from common pathogens such as Bordetella bronchiseptica and Escherichia coli , rabbits can contract the virulent, species-specific viruses RHD "rabbit hemorrhagic disease", a form of calicivirus [38] or myxomatosis.

Among the parasites that infect rabbits are tapeworms such as Taenia serialis , external parasites including fleas and mites , coccidia species, and Toxoplasma gondii.

Rabbits are prey animals and are therefore constantly aware of their surroundings. For instance, in Mediterranean Europe, rabbits are the main prey of red foxes, badgers, and Iberian lynxes.

Rabbits have a remarkably wide field of vision, and a good deal of it is devoted to overhead scanning.

Their strong teeth allow them to eat and to bite in order to escape a struggle. Rabbit habitats include meadows , woods , forests , grasslands , deserts and wetlands.

A group of burrows is called a warren. More than half the world's rabbit population resides in North America. They are not naturally found in most of Eurasia , where a number of species of hares are present.

Much of the continent has just one species of rabbit, the tapeti , while most of South America's southern cone is without rabbits.

The European rabbit has been introduced to many places around the world. Rabbits have been a source of environmental problems when introduced into the wild by humans.

As a result of their appetites, and the rate at which they breed, feral rabbit depredation can be problematic for agriculture. Gassing , barriers fences , shooting, snaring, and ferreting have been used to control rabbit populations, but the most effective measures are diseases such as myxomatosis myxo or mixi, colloquially and calicivirus.

In Europe, where rabbits are farmed on a large scale, they are protected against myxomatosis and calicivirus with a genetically modified virus.

The virus was developed in Spain, and is beneficial to rabbit farmers. If it were to make its way into wild populations in areas such as Australia, it could create a population boom, as those diseases are the most serious threats to rabbit survival.

Rabbits in Australia and New Zealand are considered to be such a pest that land owners are legally obliged to control them. In some areas, wild rabbits and hares are hunted for their meat, a lean source of high quality protein.

A caught rabbit may be dispatched with a sharp blow to the back of its head, a practice from which the term rabbit punch is derived.

Wild leporids comprise a small portion of global rabbit-meat consumption. Domesticated descendants of the European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus that are bred and kept as livestock a practice called cuniculture account for the estimated million tons of rabbit meat produced annually.

The figure for the United States was 0. We think she is adorable. She is a first pet for our 5 yr old son, Liam and he loves her — we all He has a white The grant will fund the care of 29 rabbits that a woman was A non-profit rabbit rescue and education organization.

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