- 1 rabbits
- 2 Classification
- 3 lifestyle
- 4 Reproduction
- 5 Video What do you know about rabbits?
Rabbits are mammals, and they are classified within the group of rodents, which is the same group that includes mice, rats, and beavers. Rabbits have long and strong front teeth, and this helps them to bite wood and eat food. It has been common for humans to domesticate rabbits, domesticate them, and raise them at home, in order to benefit from their meat and fur, and some people raise them for decoration. Rabbits are distinguished from all mammals by their very rapid reproduction, as their young reach maturity within less than a year, and one pair of rabbits can give birth to more than fifty newborns during one year. Rabbits are fast animals in running thanks to their strong hind legs that allow them to jump sequentially, and they are very careful. The average life of a rabbit is about seven years, and it is rare for them to live longer than three or four because of the large number of their enemies in the wild.
The rank of rabbits is classified into a large number of subgroups called "races", with a total number of ten species, and these races in turn include 28 different species representing rabbits that live all over the world except for the frozen Antarctic continent. The most famous type of rabbit in the world is the European rabbit, which is a medium-sized rabbit characterized by the color of its dark brown fur. It originally lived in western Europe about 2,000 years ago.
There are also about 16 species of rabbits that live in the Americas, where they also constitute a large number of types of rabbits familiar to humans, and they prefer to live in open areas and woodlands, but they may also live in rainforests. Five species of rabbits also live in Africa, and a few species in Asia. Evolutionarily, the rabbit family has not witnessed many or fundamental changes since the Eocene era, that is, about 40 million years ago, when rabbits appeared at that time in the North American continent and witnessed most of their development there, and did not move to Asia until the Miocene era, approximately 7 million years ago. Rabbits have a close relationship with another group of mammals called pikas that live in mountainous regions around the world, but distinguishing between them is relatively easy.
Most rabbits live in burrows in the ground consisting of several holes and tunnels, but a few of their species prefer to live above the ground, where they build nests under a thick cover of plants. Rabbits generally live in open environments covered with herbs and weeds, whether they are natural such as forests and meadows, or man-made such as farms and gardens, but they can also coexist with different climatic environments, ranging from dry rocky deserts to alpine valleys. On the other hand, rabbits often avoid agricultural areas that are plowed intensively, as well as forests and flood plains. Rabbits reach the peak of their activity from the afternoon hours until the early morning, and it can decrease in the event of rain or strong winds, although the activity may appear in them at any hour of the day if their number is large enough and if they are not exposed to external disturbances.
Rabbits usually live together in small social groups, the number of individuals ranges from seven to ten, and the group is led by a dominant male and female who rank higher than the rest of the individuals. Rabbits have several territorial characteristics, as they are very interested in preserving their areas and preventing other groups of rabbits from entering them, and they may be very violent in defending their space, and they also respect the social class ladder of the male and female leaders. Rabbits usually mate in a specific season of the year mainly, and the time of this season is determined by the times of rainfall, because it helps the growth of protein-rich plants that mothers and their young will feed on.
Rabbits are among the animals that reproduce very quickly. While they mate between February and October only in cold regions, they can reproduce at all times of the year in warm regions. The female carries between four and eight times (stomachs) in one year, and in each of them she gives birth to three to nine young, and thus the total number during the year may reach between 50 and 60 newborns, and for each belly, the duration of the rabbit’s pregnancy is 29 days . to 35 days, which equates to approximately 31 days on average. In fact, the number of young in each litter varies throughout the year, as the female usually puts four or five puppies in her first pregnancy only, but with the progress of the year the number may often reach about eight.
When preparing for the birth of the young, the pregnant female is isolated from the rest of the rabbits, and prepares for herself a hole or a burrow furnished with herbs and the remains of her fur, and there the puppies are born with closed eyes and no fur. After giving birth, the mother returns to her puppies four or five times each day to bring them food. The eyes of the young open seven to ten days after birth, and its ears open within about two weeks, which is the same time when the fur begins to appear, and it can walk and move by itself within 23 to 25 days after birth, as it begins to roam by itself outside the burrow. Male and female rabbits - alike - reach sexual maturity at the age of three to four months, and since then they begin to rely on themselves.