Rabbits are classified under the Leporidae family together with the pika and the hare. They are generally small mammals that are characterized by fluffy and short tails and their distinctive long ears. Over thirty different species of this animal exist. The European rabbit is the most common rabbit species, it is found on almost every continent except for Antarctica. The European rabbit species is believed to have given rise to more than 305 breeds of domestic rabbits. The different species of rabbits are found in different environments. Despite their difference in habitats, rabbits exhibit similar characteristics and features.
The size of rabbits varies significantly among the different species of rabbits. Some rabbits can be observed to grow to a maximum length of 50 cm and weigh more than 4.5 kilograms. Other species of rabbits can be as tiny as 20 cm and weigh less than a pound. According to The Spruce Website, the checkered giant is the largest rabbit species weighing around 5 kg while the Netherland Dwarf is the smallest rabbit species weighing below 1.3 kg.
Rabbits breed between three to four times annually; this is major because the chances of survival of the offspring are significantly low, about 15%. Therefore, to ensure that there is continuity of life, rabbits have to reproduce more times each year. During each pregnancy, the female rabbits or does produce three to eight kittens. The kittens can take care of themselves after around four weeks. By the time the rabbit is more than two months, it is capable of starting its own family.
Rabbits are herbivores in nature; therefore, they feed mostly on plants. The diet of rabbits is mostly composed of grass, clovers, fruits, tree barks, roots, buds, and even seeds.
Rabbits are classified as social animals and they can be seen living in large groups that are referred to as colonies. Rabbits are mostly busy at dusk and dawn; this is the time through which rabbits go out to look for food. They prefer to look for food during these specific times of the day so that the minimal light can protect them from predators. The primary predators of rabbits include wild dogs, feral cats, owls, ground squirrels, hawks and ground squirrels. Due to this high number of predators, rabbits have evolved over the years to adapt to their surroundings fully. This is evident through the existence of their long ears and their ability to sprint.
From the above description, it is clear that the different species of rabbits display similar characteristics. Despite living in various locations across the earth, the habitat of rabbits is almost identical everywhere. Rabbits are known to have originated from Europe and Africa; however, they can now be found all over the world. Rabbits occupy a more significant percentage of the world’s land mass except for the West Indies, the majority of the Asian Islands, and Madagascar. Wild rabbits are known to create tunnels on the ground while domesticated rabbits require a regulated environment.