The Facts

  • Genus: Sylvilagus

  • Conservation Status: Least Concern

  • Location: North America and southwestern Europe


The Scoop

There are several species of rabbit, but European and cottontail rabbits are the most common. Rabbits range from reddish brown to gray in color, and typically live around the perimeters of open meadows, or in underground burrows known as “rabbit holes.”

Rabbits are herbivores, and typically come out at night to graze on grasses and garden vegetables. In winter, their diets become a bit coarser, consisting of bark and twigs. During the day, rabbits often remain hidden in areas of vegetation to avoid predators. When spotted, rabbits flee in a zigzag pattern, reaching speeds of up to 18 miles an hour.

Female rabbits give birth to young that are so helpless, only about 15 percent survive their first year. Fortunately, rabbits breed three or four times a year, and produce three to eight young in each litter.

Did You Know?

  • The male rabbit is called a buck, the female is a doe and a young rabbit is a kit.

  • Rabbits are herbivores, only eating plants, twigs and bark.

  • In the wild, rabbits have a lifespan of less than three years.

  • Small rabbit species can be as little as 8 inches in length and weigh less than a pound, while larger rabbits can grow to around 20 inches and weigh more than 4 pounds.

  • Baby rabbits are born blind and furless, and must rely totally on the care of their mothers.

  • Rabbits can see nearly 360 degrees, with a small blind spot at the bridge of their noses.

  • Rabbits’ long ears, are likely an adaptation for detecting predators.

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