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 (Oryctolagus cuniculus), Cottontail rabbit (genus Sylvilagus; 13 species), and the Amami rabbit (Pentalagus furnessi, endangered species on Amami Ōshima, Japan). There are manyother species of rabbit, and these, along with pikas and hares, make up the order Lagomorpha.
Location and habitat
Entrance to a rabbit burrow with rabbit droppings near entranceThe rabbit livesin many areas around the world. Rabbits live in groups, and the best known species, the European rabbit lives in underground burrows, or rabbit holes. A group of burrows is called a warren. Meadows, woods, forests, thickets, and grasslands are areas in which rabbits live. They also inhabit deserts and wetlands. More than half the world's rabbit population resides in North America. Theyalso live in Europe, India, Sumatra, Japan, and parts of Africa. The European rabbit has been introduced to many places around the world.
Characteristics and anatomy
The rabbit's long ears,which can be more than 10 cm (4 in) long, are probably an adaptation for detecting predators. They have large, powerful hind legs. Each foot has five toes, with one greatly reduced in size. They aredigitigrade animals; they move around on the tips of their toes. Wild rabbits do not differ much in their body proportions or stance, with full, egg-shaped bodies. Their size can range anywhere from 20cm (8 in) in length and 0.4 kg in weight to 50 cm (20 in) and more than 2 kg. The fur is most commonly long and soft, with colors such as shades of brown, gray, and buff. The tail is a little plume ofbrownish fur (white on top for cottontails).
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