30+ Interesting Facts About Rabbits

  1. Rabbits are small mammals belonging to the family Leporidae. Hares are the only other members of this family. 
  2. There are at least 29 species of rabbits. The most well-known species is the European rabbit.
  3. More than 60 recognized domestic rabbit breeds originated from the European rabbit. Famous rabbit breeds are Flemish giant, continental giant, Holland lop, lionhead rabbit, Dutch rabbit, etc.
  4. There are several differences between rabbits and hares. Rabbits are smaller with shorter ears. Rabbits are born with closed eyes and without fur compared to fully developed births in hares. Rabbits prefer to hide while hares run from their predators. Rabbits generally live in areas with trees and shrubs, but hares prefer open-area habitats. (Source)
  5. Long ears serve many functions for rabbits. These ears can rotate at 270 degrees, revolve independently, and can pick up sounds to 3 km away. Rabbit’s ears also assist in thermoregulation by swelling in hot and contracting in cold environments. (Source)
  6. Most of the rabbits sleep with their eyes open. Others sleep with open or half-closed eyes. Sleeping with open eyes is a defense mechanism against predators in the wild. The indicators of rabbits sleeping with open eyes are slow breathing, relaxed ears, snoring, etc. Usually, they deep sleep at noon and midnight. Their “third eyelid” keeps their eyes moist. (Source)
  7. Rabbits can create environmental problems in non-native areas. In 1859, 13 European wild rabbits were introduced to Australia. Currently, there are 200 million feral rabbits in the country. They have destroyed crops and land. Several native plants and animal species have declined thanks to these introduced rabbits. (Source)
  8. Rabbits have an almost 360-degree view angle due to the position of their eyes. Rabbits can see better at night due to the many rods in their eyes.
  9. Rabbits have 28 teeth. Like rodents, these teeth have open roots, which let them grow continuously throughout rabbits’ life. They can grow up to 5 inches per year. Rabbits eat hard vegetation to keep the growth of their teeth in check. (Source)
  10. The best food for rabbits is hay and grass, which keeps their teeth and stomachs healthy. Carrots and commercial foods are only suitable for these mammals occasionally. Wild rabbits don’t eat fruits and vegetables. (Source)
  11. In addition to normal feces, rabbits excrete a special type of poop at night, known as cecotropes or night feces. These droppings are softer and full of nutrients like vitamins and protein. Rabbits eat these special night feces to remain healthy. (Source)
  12. 1.2 billion rabbits are slaughtered each year around the world. They provide 200 million tons of meat. China is the largest producer and exporter of rabbit meat. China, Malta, Italy, Cyprus, and France are the biggest consumers of rabbit meat worldwide. (Source)
  13. Wild rabbits live in forests, grasslands, wetlands, deserts, and tundra regions. Rabbits are now present on most of the landmasses around the world after their introduction to Australia, South America, and a few other areas in the last few centuries.
  14. Rabbits and hares were previously considered rodents. But they were included in a separate family due to two pairs of incisors (rodents only have a single pair of incisors) and other skeletal differences from rodents.
  15. Rabbits have several uses for humans. Their nutritious meat is high in protein, while soft fur and skin are suitable for preparing wool and clothing. Fertilizer from rabbit droppings is more nutritious for plants compared to other animals.
  16. The fur of the Angora rabbit is famous for its softness, luster, and fineness. It is used in the preparation of high-quality woven fabrics and knitting yarns. 
    An Angora rabbit eating leaves
    Angora rabbits are famous for their soft and fine fur

  17. Female rabbits can start breeding at six months of age. The gestation period is around 31 days, and the litter size is from 1 to 12 babies. The female can get pregnant soon after giving birth.
  18. Rabbits have long and strong hind limbs. These legs help them to jump high and run at a speed of 50 miles per hour. Rabbits also use thumping of their hind legs to warn their fellow rabbits against danger.
  19. Rabbits can jump 3 ft or higher. The highest jump ever recorded by a rabbit is 39.2 inches (99.5 cm).
  20. The main predators of rabbits include owls, birds of prey, snakes, feral cats, foxes, wild dogs, and ground squirrels. Rabbits try to run zigzags and hide from predators. Wild rabbits may also use their teeth, claws, and strong hind legs to attack predators.
  21. Rabbits usually live from 8 to 12 years. The oldest-living rabbit reached 16 years of age in 2019. (Source)   
  22. The pygmy rabbit is the smallest species with a length of 7.9 in (20 cm) and can attain 0.4 kg (0.9 lb) of weight. The largest can grow up to 19.7 in (50 cm) with weight up to 2 kg (4.4 lb).
  23. The largest rabbit ever measured is a Continental Giant rabbit with a length of 4 ft 2 in. (Source)
  24. Rabbits perform special actions known as binky when they are happy. This action involves leaping and twisting in the air.
  25. Rabbits keep themselves clean by licking and grooming themselves. They also clean other rabbits through these methods.
  26. Rabbits can’t vomit due to the structure of their digestive system. It makes it dangerous for them if they eat something wrong.
  27. Rabbits can transmit a few diseases to humans through scratches and bites. These include ringworms, external parasites, pasteurellosis, etc. (Source) 
  28. Fear can cause sudden death in rabbits. They can get a heart attack from loud sounds, predators, etc.
  29. Rabbits are crepuscular animals. It means they are most active at dusk and dawn.
  30. Rabbits usually communicate through body language. But they are capable of making several sounds. These include clucking, humming, growling, hissing, screaming, etc. These sounds exhibit their happiness or sorrow. (Source)
  31. Rabbits are the third-most favorite pet in the USA after cats and dogs. But these small mammals are also the 3rd most common animals in shelters. (Source)
  32. Rabbits need a lot of space indoors and outdoors. They need this space to run, stand, lie down, etc. Keeping at least two rabbits in a place is necessary because they are social animals and can’t remain alone.
  33. Rabbits have sweat glands only inside their mouth. It is the reason that they can overheat during the summer season. (Source)

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