Sunday 27 December 2015

Mammals: Rabbits

Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world. There are about 30 species of rabbits around the world, and while they live in many different environments, they have many things in common. A male rabbit is called a buck and the female rabbit is called a doe. Meanwhile the young rabbit is called a kitten, kit or bunny.

A Rabbit's Anatomy
Small rabbit species can be as little as 8 inches(20 centimeters) in length and weigh less than a pound. Larger rabbits grow to 20 inches (50 cm) and more than 4 pounds(1.8 kilograms). The world's largest rabbit clocked in at 4 feet 3 inches (129.54 cm) and 49 pounds (22 kg).

Parts of a Rabbit
A Rabbit's Diet
Rabbits are herbivores meaning that they have a plant based diet. They eat herbs, hay, peas, grass, lettuce, and leafy greens. A rabbit's diet contains large amount of cellulose, which is hard to digest. Rabbits are incapable of vomiting. 

A Rabbit's Habitat
Rabbits habitat includes meadows, woods, forests, grassland, deserts and wetlands. Rabbits live in groups, and the best known species, the European rabbit, lives in underground burrows, or rabbit holes. A group of burrows is called a warren. Wild rabbits live in woods, forests, grassland, etc. While domestic rabbits often live in cages. 

A Rabbit's Burrow
 A Rabbit's Offspring
These mammals are known for their insatiable reproductive habits for good reason. They breed three to four times each year. Each pregnancy produces three to eight babies, called kittens or kits. After four to five weeks, a kit can care for itself. In two or three months, it is ready to start a family of its own. 
A Rabbit with its Young
Fun Facts About Rabbits
  • Rabbits are born with their eyes closed and without fur.
  • Rabbits have a lifespan of around 10 years.
  • Rabbits can be very crafty and quick. 
  • When rabbits ‘binky’, this is an expression of joy. They will run, jump into the air, twist their body and flick their feet.
  • Rabbits have extremely strong hind limbs which allow them to leap great distances. They can jump up to one metre high and three metres long.
  • Rabbits have an excellent sense of smell, hearing and vision. They can see everything behind them and only have a small blind-spot in front of their nose.
  • Rabbits should be kept in pairs. Companionship is key to the welfare of rabbits – without the company of another neutered rabbit they get lonely and bored.

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