Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world. There are seven different genera in the family classified as rabbits, including the European rabbit, cottontail rabbit and the Amami rabbit. There are many other species of rabbit, and these, along with cottontails, Pikas, and Hares, make up the order Lagomorpha. Rabbits generally live between four and twenty years.
Rabbits are ground dwellers that live in environments ranging from the desert to tropical forest and wetland. The European rabbit has been introduced to many locations around the world, and all breeds of domestic rabbit originate from the European. Nearly half of the worlds rabbit species are in danger of extinction; many are among the most vulnerable of all mammals.
The long ears of rabbits are most likely an adaptation for detecting predators. They also have powerful hind-legs and a short tail. Each foot has five digits; rabbits move about on the tips of their digits in a fashion known as digitigrades locomotion.
Rabbits are hindgut digesters. This means that most of their digestion takes place in their large intestine and caecum (a chamber between the large and small intestine).
Rabbits are herbivores who feed by grazing on grass and leafy weeds. In addition, their diet contains large amounts of cellulose, which is hard to digest. Rabbits solve this problem by passing two distinctive types of faeces: hard droppings and soft black viscous pellets, the latter of which are immediately eaten. Rabbits reingest their own droppings (rather than chewing the cud as do cows and many other herbivores) in order to fully digest their food and extract sufficient nutrients.
Rabbits are incapable of vomiting due to the physiology of their digestive system.
Instead of sound, scent seems to play a predominant role in the communication systems of most rabbits.
Most rabbits produce many offspring each year. Newborn rabbits are naked, blind and helpless at birth.
Rabbits are often known affectionately by the pet name “bunny” especially when referring to young.
A group of young rabbits is referred to as a “kindle”, male rabbits are called “bucks” and females “does”.