Thirty million years ago there were already rabbits that inhabited the earth. They were very tiny, according to the fossilized skulls which have been discovered.
The skull size would indicate rabbits that were three to four times smaller than our little cottontails or the European rabbits that look nearly exactly alike.
Some rabbits have simple homes under bushes. Some live in complex warrens. In these there is more than one entrance and exit. The downward sloping tunnels branch out and there are several rooms.
Since several families of rabbits live there, there are rooms where does give birth to baby rabbits called kittens.
The mother makes a comfy nest in the room by bring in grass and leaves and even pulling out some of her fur to place there.
Gestation is four weeks. The kittens are born without fur. Their eyes are closed the first 12 days after birth.They cannot hear when they are born.
They nurse and grow quite fast. Fur appears after a week. After three weeks it will want to leave the warren and explore the world. Ddoes can be aggressive when protecting their young.
At four weeks old, the mother weans them and they can be on their own. They gain strength as they grow and soon can hop very fast. They are very alert animals. They have excellent eyesight and hearing.
They stay fairly close to their warren. They reach full adult size at nine months, but females can breed much earlier than maturity.
A rabbit warns other rabbit warns other rabbits of danger by thumping its back legs. Having many predators to dodge, such as hawks, eagles, coyotes and human hunters.
They generally stay close to cover. Their fun color of brown shades and mingled grey shades with a touch of white on tummy and tail helps them blend in with nature’s palette.
When trying to hide, they lower those tall ears and flatten their bodies to the ground. They twitch their noses to pick up scents in the air.
Male rabbits are called bucks. The oldest buck in the family group protects the ddoes and the young rabbits. He has a scent gland and marks his territory.
It is beneath his chin and he rubs his chin on tree trunks and rocks.
Rabbits do not often fight one another but during the breeding season the bucks can be aggressive.
Rabbits are mainly nocturnal creatures but sometimes they are out in daylight.
They eat a lot of grass and prefer short young grass blades so they especially like pastures where the grasses have been grazed down by sheep or cattle or horses.
They do not hibernate in winter and food is scarce so they eat the bark from trees. Chewing on trees helps keep their teeth the right length as they never stop growing. They have incisors in the front for biting and cutting and molars in the back for chewing.
They are clean animals and also keep their warrens clean. Hares share the habitat of rabbits and are, of course, related to them.
They have a specific purpose on earth and among all their enemies, they also have friends, wise people who let them live peacefully on their lands and caring people who work with wildlife organizations and know the techniques to help orphaned rabbits to grow up strong and have a second.
Find out more about the Rabbit over at Wikipedia »