European rabbit. By Peter Krejzl | Shutterstock.com
European rabbit. By Peter Krejzl | Shutterstock.com

About European rabbits.

This rabbit species is the ancestor or all current domestic rabbits.


Females are a little smaller in size than male rabbits.


They are extremely sociable animals that can live in large communities.


Humans introduced this species to Australia, where it became a pest. This happened due to the lack of natural predators or animals competing for the same food.


The oldest fossil of this species dates back to 3.5 million years ago, from the Pliocene in the Iberian peninsula.


European rabbits were first domesticated by the Romans.


These animals live underground in burrows or warrens. They comprise a complex series of underground chambers where hundreds of them can live together.


When they feel threatened, they make grunting sounds and whistle, and thump their paws against the ground to warn other rabbits of the danger before running away.


Females nurse their offspring during the first 4 weeks of their lives and only for a few minutes every day. The milk of these animals is very nutritious and is enough to keep the babies full until the next feeding.


Females can have several litters a year until they are 6 years old, when they stop giving birth.


They have nearly 360º panoramic vision so they can detect predators from all directions.


With their strong hind limbs, rabbits can jump as far as 3 meters (9.84 ft) long and up to 1 meter (3.28 ft) high.

European wild rabbit on grass. By kwhw | Shutterstock.com
European wild rabbit on grass. By kwhw | Shutterstock.com
COMMON NAMECONSERVATION STATUS
European rabbitNear threatened
SCIENTIFIC NAMESIZE
Oryctolagus cuniculus34-50 cm (13-20 in)
FAMILYWEIGHT
Leporidae1.1-2.5 kg (2.4-5.5 lb)
ORDERLIFESPAN
Lagomorpha9 years
CLASSGESTATION PERIOD
Mammalia29-35 days
 POPULATION DIET
This species is commonA great variety of plant materials, including agricultural crops, grains, roots and young trees.
HABITATRANGE
Dry areas at low altitude where they can excavate their burrows. They live in forests and open fields with shrub vegetation where they can hide.They are native to the Iberian peninsula, but they have been introduced by humans to many other places: Africa, Europe, U.S., Chile, South Africa and Australia.

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