Rabbits are small animals belonging to mammals, with distinctive long ears and a short fluffy tail, and there are more than thirty species of them around the world, and hares, also known as feral hares, belong to the same family that rabbits belong to, which is the rabbit family, where hares belong to the genus Lipos is a branch of the rabbit family, while the common rabbits include all the remaining genera of this family.
Information about rabbits
Some rabbits are equal in size to the size of a cat, while some may reach the size of a small child, and there are some dwarf rabbits that may reach 20 cm in length and weigh less than 405 g, while large species reach 50 cm in length, and weigh more than 4.5 kg. The largest rabbit breeds, according to veterinarian Lian Macleod, are the Fickle Rabbit, which weighs more than 5 kg, the Giant Flemish and weighs more than 5.9 kg, the Giant Papillon, whose weight ranges between 5.9-6.3 kg, and the Giant Chinchilla, which weighs between 5.4-7.2 kg. Polish or maid rabbits weighing less than 1.1 kg, Dutch dwarf rabbits weighing less than 1.1 kg, dwarf hotties weighing less than 1.3 kg, and Himalayan rabbits weighing between 1.1 to 2 kg are the smallest of the rabbit breeds.
Rabbits have long ears that may reach 6 cm in length, which are an adaptation to capture enemies from predators, and have strong, long back legs, short tail, and five toes per foot, one of which is miniature, and they move on the tips of their toes, and have bodies that are full, and oval in shape It is covered in long and soft fur, and the color ranges from brown, gray and yellow-orange shades.
Rabbits live in a variety of environments; Such as: deserts, tropical forests, and wetlands, which are spread in mid-latitude regions in the western hemisphere, in Europe, parts of central and southern Africa, Sumatra, the Indian subcontinent, and Japan.
Rabbits are herbivores, which do not eat meat at all. They feed on weeds, shamrocks, and some cruciferous plants. Such as: broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and you may also eat fruits, seeds, roots, buds, and tree bark according to the animal diversity network.
The female can mate with the male at any time during the year, and she becomes capable of childbearing at the age of five or six months, and her fertility continues for four years after that, and the pregnancy period for the female rabbit lasts 31 days, so that after birth, she puts a number ranging from 1-12 young Each time, she can conceive again only several days after birth, and the educator can sense the presence of the fetus in the mother’s abdomen by touching its side after two weeks of pregnancy, and it is good not to allow her to become pregnant again until four weeks after the birth, to be repeated Pregnancy only six times during one year. The reason for the female’s ability to conceive is largely due to the fact that ovulation and release of eggs in her ovaries occur as a result of sexual intercourse with the male, and not in the form of a regular cycle, and it is worth noting that she can undergo postpartum directly.
Newborn rabbits are naked, helpless, and blind, mothers do not pay much attention to their babies, and they breastfeed their young only once a day, for only a few minutes; Therefore, rabbit milk is very rich in nutrients, and it is considered the richest compared to the milk of all other mammals; To compensate for the lack of interest, rabbits are usually weaned from breastfeeding only about one month after birth, and parents are not usually involved in caring for their offspring.
Adaptation to escape from enemies
Rabbits are very social, they live in large groups, and they are most active during dusk and at dawn. The dim light at that time helps her to hide from enemies, as well as her ability to run long distances at high speeds, and her long ears help her to escape from them; The cotton-tailed rabbit, for example, can run zigzag, at speeds of up to 29 kilometers per hour according to National Geographic. The eyes of both hares and ordinary rabbits are located on either side of the head; This gives them a field of 360-degree vision around their bodies, which is large enough to allow them to absorb an ample amount of light in dimly lit conditions during times of dawn, dark hours, and dusk, which are times when they are usually active.
Facts about rabbits
Some general facts about rabbits include:
- The Flemish rabbit, which measures 129 cm and weighs 22 kg, is the longest rabbit in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records.
- Rabbits are food for a wide range of mammals and birds. Such as wolves, foxes, weasels, hawks, eagles, and owls. Because of their constant abundance, they are an important part of many terrestrial food chains.
- Rabbits can greatly affect both houseplants and cultivated plants, which can sometimes lead to them being considered a pest.
- Rabbits can transmit some diseases to humans, such as; Tularemia or rabbit fever.
- Rabbits’ long ears help eliminate excess heat in the body by releasing it through the blood vessels in the ears.