For kids who love animals by a kid who loves animals
Recently, I went up to a friend of mine’s farm, and her cat carried back a baby rabbit. It was still alive, so I took it from the cat and shooed the cat away. I held the rabbit for a couple minutes, despite the fact my mom told me to put it down multiple times. As it turns out, rabbits are actually pretty interesting creatures. So here is a list of ten facts about rabbits.
1. Rabbit eat their own poop. Come on, don’t act like you didn’t see this one coming! The things rabbit eat, like grass and straw, do not get all the nutrients sucked out of them on the first go around, so they eat their poop again to get all the precious calories out of the food.
2. In a wild rabbit’s average lifetime, which is normally a little less than one year, it can have up to 100 babies! This is probably because as soon as their baby rabbits, or kits, are born, they can get pregnant again. A female rabbit’s gestation lasts only 30 days. Rabbits have litters with up to 14 kits in them!
3. Rabbits live on every continent, except Antarctica. A rabbit can live in forests, tundra, plains, valleys, and many other biomes. Basically, any place with plants: rabbits will live there. Contrary to popular belief, every single type of rabbit, except Cottontail rabbits, sleeps in burrows. Hares and Cottontail rabbits sleep in nests.
4. There is actually a difference between hares and rabbits. As I mentioned, hares sleep above ground and rabbits sleep in holes. Hares are bigger and are born with fur and their eyes open. Rabbits are born blind and hairless. Hares are called hares because “hare” comes from the West Germanic word hase, meaning grey.
5. If you ever watched Bambi, you will know that rabbits thump their feet to warn other grazing rabbits nearby. One thing they didn’t get right in the movie, however, is the aforementioned reality that rabbits sleep in holes.
6. Rabbits can jump three feet high and 9 feet across. I’m not surprised, considering how strong and big their back legs are. One thing that also doesn’t surprise me is that they are good at kicking things. Think of them as mule rodents.
7. A rabbit’s most important sense is hearing. With hearing that stretches 2 miles away, rabbits depend more on their hearing than sight. It is pointing out the obvious when you say they have good hearing, though. It’s really no secret how impressive their ears are.
8. An interesting fact is that rabbits take care of their babies for up to 8 to 10 weeks, while hares will hop away up to an hour after its baby’s birth. Hares are born with their eyes open and covered in fur, ready to defend themselves. Rabbits take care of their children for a little bit, since kits are born helpless. It is also worth noting that baby hares are called leverets, not kits, or bunnies.
9. Rabbits can actually regenerate their ears if they get holes punched in them. There was a study that punched holes in rabbit’s ears, and, over the course of time, the ears healed completely. This is really interesting because I think maybe, we could eventually use this information to make regeneration a possibly for other animals, and even humans!
10. Rabbits have a surprising likeness to humans. If you put 2 rabbits in a cage together, there is no telling whether they will be friends, fall in love, or hate each other from the start – just like having a roommate. Rabbits need a place to eat, a place to poop, and a place to drink, all laid out in different areas, like most humans. Some rabbits are more scared of some things than others, and rabbits have somewhat of a sense of humor and playfulness. For instance, a pet rabbit might try to get you to chase it.
Consider these facts next time you see a rabbit/hare!