Rabbits have been a symbol of many cultures representing nature, fertility and happiness.
Their mostly small size and gentle nature has made them wonderful pets as well as a source of food on many continents.
Rabbits are a type of rodent and are known for their large ears, soft fur, large feet and springy legs as well as small tail.
There are thirty species of rabbits that reside all around the world.
Many of the rabbits differ but they all share quite a few common traits.
Rabbits are typically smaller, but some rabbits such as the jackrabbit can grow to huge sizes, comparable to that of a small child.
The smallest rabbits are about 20 cm (8 in.) long and weigh in at less than a pound.
The bigger rabbits can be as large as fifty centimeters (20 in.) and weigh around 1.8 kg (4 lbs.).
The rabbit that has the record for being the largest rabbit in the world stood 129.53 cm tall (4 ft. 3 in.) and weighed 22 kg. (49 lbs.)
The biggest rabbit breeds are the Flemish giant, the checkered giant, the giant chinchilla and the French lop.
Rabbits breed a lot and have many babies each of the four times a year that they breed.
Only 15% of the baby rabbits that are born live to be one year, so nature has given them the opportunity to produce a lot of babies.
Interesting facts about rabbits:
- Each time a female gives birth she will have from three to eight babies. Baby rabbits are called ‘kits’ or ‘kittens’.
- The word ‘bunny’ is a name of endearment that people have given rabbits.
- They have long ears and on average can be 4 inches long.
- A female rabbit is called a Doe.
- A male rabbit is called a Buck.
- On average, they sleep about eight hours a day.
- Rabbits have short tails.
- Rabbits only sweat on the pads of the feet and nowhere else.
- A group of rabbits is called a warren.
- Rabbits are mammals.
- A rabbit can live up to 10 years.
- A rabbit that lives in doors is normally called a house rabbit.
- They can reproduce very quickly and this can be a problem for people who live in rural areas as they can become pests.
- Rabbits will not start having babies until they are about one-year-old. On average they can have about 25 babies in the year which is amazing.
- A baby rabbit will stay with his mom for about two weeks. This is a very short period of time after which they have to fend for themselves.
- Rabbits love to eat and they will eat things like grass, vegetables, wild strawberries and even flowers during the summertime. In winter they will even eat the bark from trees.
- They love to eat around dusk.
- Did you know that more than half of the world’s population of rabbits actually live in North America.
- And island of Japan called Okunoshima is occupied by wild rabbits. Because there is no predators on this island they are free to roam the forests and the paths.
- They love to drink water and can actually drink as much water as a 20 pound dog.
- In the wild rabbits love to live in meadows, forests, grasslands, woods, deserts and wetlands.
- Some people will actually eat rabbits.
- Rabbits teeth are always growing.
- If you have a domesticated rabbit they should not be left in the wild because they will find it very difficult to survive.
- In some countries having a rabbit’s foot is believed to bring you good luck.
Not a baby anymore
When a baby reaches 4-5 weeks of age, the kit can care for itself and by 2-3 months they are able to start their own families.
If the area they live in doesn’t have any natural predators, the area can quickly become overpopulated with rabbits.
What do Rabbits Eat?
Rabbits are omnivores, which means they eat vegetables and plants.
In the winter rabbits are required to eat bark, buds and twigs but in the summer they will nibble grasses, lettuce, herbs, peas and greens.
Wild rabbits make their homes depending upon the area.
Some live in forests and grasslands but most tunnel into the earth to create dens that are called ‘warrens’.