Depending on who you ask, bunnies or rabbits are an adorable family pet or nothing more than a pest that ruin crops and gardens or mere food. As far as we are concerned, bunnies are cute little critters that make children smile and their floppy ears, soft fur, and hoppy movement can turn you to goo. Today, we at Carve Me A Bear! Chainsaw Carvings would like to share some facts regarding rabbits.
There are Many Rabbit Breeds
Found in several parts of the world, rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae and eight different genera in the family classified as rabbits. Currently, there are over 50 species of rabbits, and that number continues to grow as the ever-growing popular trend of selective breeding of pet rabbits increases. On average, most rabbits live between 9 and 12 years, however, the oldest rabbit on record lived for 18 years. Typically, rabbits are characterized by large hind feet, long ears and legs, along with a short, bushy tail. Smaller rabbit species generally average about 8 inches and weigh less than a pound; larger species can grow up to 20 inches long and weigh over 4 pounds.
Where Do Rabbits Live?
Most of the rabbit population reside in North America, but are native to Southeast Asia, Sumatra, Southwestern Europe, some islands of Japan, and in parts of Africa and South America. Rabbits include woods, deserts, forests, meadows, grasslands, and wetlands as their habitats. Rabbits are territorial and live in large colonies. They live in warrens, otherwise known as burrows, which are an intricate series of underground tunnels with different entrances and exits. In the wild, they are most active at dawn and dusk to forage for food. This time of day offers enough light to find food but enough cover of darkness to conceal themselves against predators.
How Do Rabbits Protect Themselves from Predators?
These cute critters have incredible senses including vision, smell, and hearing. Allowing them to detect predators from all directions, rabbits have nearly 360° panoramic vision, and only have a small blind-spot in the very front of their nose. Their diet primarily consists of grass, but will eat berries, nuts and other fruits and veggies. Predators include fox, coyotes, wolves, weasels, raccoon, lynx, as well as large birds such as eagles, hawks, and owls.
Male rabbits are referenced as bucks, females are does, and babies are called a kit (short for kitten). Generally, bunny is an affectionate term people endear to rabbits. In the animal kingdom, the rabbit is one of the most recognizable and well-loved creatures. Rabbits have been domesticated for thousands of years, where in earlier times they were a source for meat and fur as well as companionship. With an estimated 14 million pet rabbits in the world, they a common household pet today.
Rabbits are frequently used as a symbol of fertility or rebirth and have been long associated with spring and Easter, especially since the Easter Bunny. Rabbits will appear in folklore and modern children’s stories but not generally as sympathetic characters as well as come up in modern pop-culture as a trickster. In many parts of the world, dating as early in Europe around 600 B.C., the rabbit’s foot has been carried as an amulet believed to bring good luck, and the superstition is still around today. Additionally, the in the Chinese Zodiac for the Chinese calendar, rabbits are one of the twelve celestial animals.