Portal:Rabbits and hares

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The rabbits and hares portal

Oryctolagus cuniculus Rcdo.jpg

Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha (along with the hare and the pika). Oryctolagus cuniculus includes the European rabbit species and its descendants, the world's 305 breeds of domestic rabbit. Sylvilagus includes 13 wild rabbit species, among them the 7 types of cottontail. The European rabbit, which has been introduced on every continent except Antarctica, is familiar throughout the world as a wild prey animal and as a domesticated form of livestock and pet. With its widespread effect on ecologies and cultures, the rabbit (or bunny) is, in many areas of the world, a part of daily life—as food, clothing, a companion, and as a source of artistic inspiration.

Scrub Hare (Lepus saxatilis) close-up (30544290256) (2).jpg

Hares and jackrabbits are leporids belonging to the genus Lepus. Hares are classified in the same family as rabbits. They are similar in size and form to rabbits and have similar herbivorous diets, but generally have longer ears and live solitarily or in pairs. Also unlike rabbits, their young are able to fend for themselves shortly after birth (precocial) rather than emerging blind and helpless (altricial). Most are fast runners. Hare species are native to Africa, Eurasia, North America, and the Japanese archipelago.

Five leporid species with "hare" in their common names are not considered true hares: the hispid hare (Caprolagus hispidus), and four species known as red rock hares (comprising Pronolagus). Conversely, jackrabbits are hares, rather than rabbits.

A hare less than one year old is called a leveret. A group of hares is called a "drove".

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Desert cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii) in Anza Borrego State Park

Cottontail rabbits are among the 16 lagomorph species in the genus Sylvilagus. The genus is widely distributed across North America, Central America, and northern and central South America. In appearance most cottontail rabbits closely resemble the wild European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Most members of the genus have a stub tail with a white underside that shows when they are retreating, giving them their name "cottontails." Cottontail rabbits have also proven more resistant to myxomatosis than European rabbits.

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Alaska rabbit
Despite its name, the Alaska Rabbit originates in Germany. It is a medium-sized rabbit breed, weighing around 3–4 kg (7-9 lb) with glossy black fur. This breed was created in 1900 by crossing Havanas, Dutch, Himalayans and Champagne d'Argents with the goal of obtaining a rabbit that looks like the Alaskan fox. The Alaska Rabbit Club is the British Rabbit Council's national specialty club for this breed.

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Anita Brookner, sharing her insights
on the fable The Tortoise and the Hare


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Detail from Nature morte de fruits et de fleurs avec des animaux by David Koninck
Detail from Nature morte de fruits et de fleurs avec des animaux ("Still life with fruits, flowers, and animals"), a late 17th-century work by Flemish Baroque painter David Koninck (ca. 1644 – after 1701)

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A pet rabbit eating food pellets

Did you know…

  • … that rabbit teeth never stop growing?
  • … that when a rabbit is happy it jumps into the air (this is called "binkies")?
  • … that the 2005 ARBA convention was documented in the film Rabbit Fever?

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