What people do not start as pets! The reasons for their content are various. Some animals are kept for the sake of meat, wool, milk, eggs. Others (dogs, for example) can guard housing, graze the herd, etc. Still others, without bringing visible benefits, give purely aesthetic pleasure to their owners. What is interesting to say about rabbits? What is their life span, is it possible to take animals in their arms? And is a pet really such a coward that it can die of fear?
The most interesting facts about rabbits
Historians believe that the rabbit progenitors are their wild counterparts, who lived more than 2 million years ago.
They tried to tame them back in the Stone Age. The very concept of rabbit breeding, animal breeding on special farms arose about 4 thousand years ago.
During archaeological excavations in Spain and Portugal, rabbit farms of this age have been discovered. The word "Spain" in translation from the ancient Phoenician language means "rabbit shore".
In many countries, the rabbit foot is a talisman that can protect from the evil eye.
King of Prussia, Frederick, was fond of breeding eared animals on an island near the city of Berlin. Napoleon Bonaparte's nephew, Napoleon III. He was a famous rabbit breeder. Currently, there are about 150 breeds of these funny animals.
Curious: rabbits belong to the family of hares, although due to physiology the crossbreeding of these two animals does not produce offspring. They are not rodents due to the presence of two additional incisors and a number of other structural features of the skeleton.
How long a crawl will live depends on the conditions of its environment:
- In the wild, animals do not live very long - from 1 to 3 years. Predators hunting them, bad weather conditions, and diseases often cause the death of very young individuals.
- Animals kept at home with the aim of obtaining fur skins and meat live from 1 year to 2 years, after which they are sent for slaughter. Only a crawl producer can live up to 3 - 4 years.
- Decorative breeds live longer, up to about 8 years, and with good care, individual individuals live up to 11 - 12 years. Moreover, the smaller the breed, the longer its representative lives. Giant rabbits live up to 5 years. The record is currently considered the age of 19 years.
- They are often confused with hares, but this is not so. There are many differences between them, despite the fact that they are relatives in a biological sense.
- Wild rabbits can run at speeds of up to 50-55 km / h.
- All 16 species of American rabbits live in forests and swamps, and do not dig their own holes. In addition, they climb trees perfectly. And outside of North America, all rabbits live exclusively in burrows, and they can’t climb trees (interesting facts about North America).
- Rabbits and rodents like hamsters and rats have a common ancestor who lived many millions of years ago. However, they still do not belong to rodents.
- More than 50% of all rabbits in the world live in North America.
- Wild European rabbits dig up deep and ramified burrows, which sometimes merge into entire underground cities.
- American rabbits live alone, and all other species usually exist in groups.
- In the wild everyone is hunting rabbits. From extinction they save only that they breed with incredible speed.
- In case of danger, these animals prefer to run away, but if they are driven into a corner, they go all-in and try to defend themselves. With the help of powerful hind legs armed with sharp claws, a harmless rabbit could very well kill or seriously injure a predator.
- They chew very quickly. When a rabbit eats, its jaw makes an average of two chewing movements per second, and it can chew for a very long time without getting tired.
- The weight of adults of the largest wild species usually does not exceed 3.5-4 kg, but domestic rabbits can weigh up to 10-11 kg.
- There were no rabbits in Australia until they were brought there at the end of the 18th century. Since then they have monstrously bred and become a serious threat to the ecosystem. They were shot, protective fences were erected against them, and in the middle of the 20th century they spread a special virus among them, which reduced their population to acceptable values (interesting facts about Australia).
- Due to the fact that rabbits are easy prey, on average they live in the wild for no more than a year. But their domestic species can live for 10-12 years, if you surround them with appropriate care. The official record is 19 years.
- Their hind legs allow them to jump up to 2-3 meters in length and 1-1.5 meters in height.
- Nature adapted rabbit eyes to a magnificent view so that they can always see a sneaking predator. So, rabbits even see what is happening behind them, without turning their heads.
- Like humans, these animals can, in the event of a particularly severe fear, really die of fear.
- Pads of rabbit paws can sweat in hot weather.
- Female rabbits have a double uterus, which allows them to simultaneously carry two generations of offspring at once, and from different males.
- On average, rabbit ears are 8-12 centimeters long, but a domestic rabbit entered the book of records, whose ears reached a length of 80 centimeters.
- Some of their breeds become sexually mature at the age of 3 months. Partly this explains their fertility.
- Rabbits bring a lot of offspring at a time, but the female herself usually cannot go out all newborn rabbits. If you help her, then they can survive. The offspring's official record is 24 rabbits at a time.
- These animals drink a lot of water. So, a rabbit weighing a couple of kilograms can drink more than a dog five times its mass.
- In the era of sailing ships, in the 17-18 centuries, sailors often released rabbits on desert uninhabited islands. This was done so that if people get to the island as a result of a shipwreck, they have a source of food.
- The Aztecs discovered alcohol by discovering some rabbits after fermenting some fermented cacti (interesting facts about cacti).
- In the Australian state of Queensland, it is prohibited by law to keep rabbits, even ornamental breeds. Violators face a fine of 30 thousand Australian dollars.
- There are about 17 thousand taste buds in the rabbit language.
- In fact, rabbits have a lot more teeth than it seems at first glance - as many as 28.
When a rabbit feels unwell or frightened, he starts tapping or grinding his teeth
Hornies are capable of making sounds, although they do not do it too often. By the nature of the sound, an experienced breeder can determine the mood of the pet:
- purring, reminiscent of a rumbling cat, clicking with teeth indicates a good location of the animal,
- loud gnashing of teeth indicates fear, aggression, that the animal is in pain,
- grunting, growling or whining are a signal of discontent, irritation.
The sounds made by the rabbit while feeding the rabbits resemble murmurs.
Running and jumping
Rabbits run slower than hares, but still their speed is very high - up to 56 km / h (for hares - up to 70 km / h). They differ in good jumps.
Jumps are considered to be record-breaking:
- in length - 3 m,
- in height - by 1 m.
In the case of imminent danger, animals in speed can get ahead even of a greyhound dog.
Interesting: in Western Europe they use the rabbit's ability to run fast when organizing special hurdling competitions, which are very popular among the population. The reward for the winner is a treat.
Can die of fear
Unfortunately, the expression “scared to death” is not figurative for rabbits. The animal is really capable of dying due to a strong fright.
The reason may be:
- loud sounds
- strong cotton
- too sharp movement.
Frightened, the fluffy numb, there is a risk of a heart attack and even death, because there is too frequent a heartbeat - up to 325 beats per minute.
That is why it is very important to consider this fact before starting a rabbit. All possible risks must be carefully weighed. This is especially true for families in which young children grow up. A noisy, playful child can accidentally greatly scare the little animal.
Is it safe to pick up
Any raising up is associated among representatives of the hare family as a danger signal: in the wild, a predator, grabbing a prey in the teeth, raises it above the ground. Therefore, taking it once again into the hands of a pet is undesirable.
Do not raise the rabbit by the ears, paws or tail. These animals are quite fragile, so they can be seriously injured.
In addition, the animals of this family have a very weak spine. From fear, they can begin to break out, bend, risking damage to their spine or neck. Raising the ears causes severe pain due to their great sensitivity. In case of emergency, it is recommended to hold the animal in one hand, gently holding it with the other hand.
In the features of rabbit breeding there are a number of interesting points:
- puberty in males occurs at about 4 - 5 months, in females a little later - at 5-8 months, but the rabbit is able to get pregnant starting at 3 months of age,
- the female’s uterus has a bifurcated shape, as a result of which the rabbit can conceive again during pregnancy, already from another male,
- the female makes a nest for the appearance of litter from her fur, which she plucks from her breast,
- rabbits are born without fur, with their eyes closed - this is their main difference from the hare,
- the largest recorded litter is 24 babies,
- due to severe stress, to prevent too much birth rate, some embryos may dissolve in the rabbit’s uterus,
- it takes only 5 minutes a day to feed the cubs with the mother,
- in the summer, the reproductive function of males may disappear, appearing again in the autumn.
Rabbits are social animals, preferring to live in groups called the herd.
The unique structure of some organs
In a one-year-old individual, the teeth begin to acquire a yellowish tint, and the older the rabbit, the more yellowness on his teeth
An interesting structure and functions are some rabbit organs:
- Eyes. They are arranged in such a way that the animal sees everything that happens around him without turning his head.
- Teeth. The animal has 28 teeth. They continue to grow all their lives.
- The ears. Each can move by itself. This contributes to a better sound source.
- Mustache. They grow both around the nose and around the circumference of the head. This gives you the opportunity to navigate in the dark and accurately calculate the distance to any object.
- Paws They have 5 claws on the front and 4 on the hind legs. Only little paw pads sweat in the little animal, which increases the risk of getting a heat stroke in hot weather.
The longest are rabbit ears that exceed 75 cm in length.
Tip: in the heat, moisten the rabbit ears with cool water - this will help the animal to avoid overheating of the whole organism.
Various sources contain other interesting facts about rabbits, their habits, habits, preferences in food and drink:
- The rabbit menu consists of 95% grass, both fresh and dry. Dandelion leaves are an excellent treat. It is acceptable to eat vegetables and fruits, but in small quantities to avoid digestive upsets. For one “sitting down” a medium-sized animal can eat as much grass as is enough to fill a pillow.
- Water must be available at all times. An animal weighing 2 kg drinks as much water as a dog weighing 10 kg can drink during the same time.
- It is not recommended to wash the animal, especially cat or dog shampoos, treat with insect repellents. A well-known fact: the eared ears are very clean, lick their fur up to 5 times a day, so there is a risk of poisoning.
- It is possible to tame the animal to the tray. As a rule, a furry animal goes to the toilet at the same place in the cage. Taking the litter from there, and placing it in the tray, it is necessary to ensure that the crawl once again descends on it. For several times he will get used to the new toilet, and will walk on demand just in it.
- All mammals need vitamin D to strengthen their bones. It is produced on the skin of animals when exposed to sunlight. Long rabbit ears serve as an excellent synthesizer of this vitamin: wiping their ears with their paws, and after washing, licking their paws, animals transfer the vitamin into their mouths.
Thanks to all these and other cognitive facts, it is very interesting to observe the animals.
It is a mistake to assume that the rabbit is descended from a hare. Yes, they are very similar, but relatives are very distant. If you mate a rabbit and a hare, the offspring will not work due to incompatible biological differences. But wild and domestic rabbits can interbreed.
Today, there are more than a dozen different species of these animals. But only a European wild rabbit was domesticated. So all breeds of pets take their roots from the animal living in what is now called Spain.
If you believe the researchers of this country who tell interesting facts about rabbits, then you can find out the following. When the Carthaginians landed on this territory, the soldiers began shouting: “Span, span!” Such an exclamation was heard because rabbits jumped out from under each bush. "Span" in Carthaginian means "rabbit." Therefore, they named the landing site of Spain, which means "country of rabbits."
A rabbit who is depressed may have a false pregnancy, she eats a lot and behaves cocky.
A true pregnancy lasts 30 days. An interesting fact about rabbits is that the female is able to get pregnant at different times from two different males and simultaneously bear both offspring.
The structure of the reproductive organs in the rabbit is different in that the uterus has two chambers that are able to store the fruits inside themselves independently of each other. The mother feeds her cubs no more than 5 minutes a day.
Rabbits make sounds differently, it happens to hear:
- loud gnashing of teeth.
This indicates irritation, discontent, or malaise. If you frighten a pregnant rabbit, she may lose her offspring. As for the male, he will simply die with fear, and this is not an exaggeration. Signs of fear:
- rolling eyes
- loss of appetite,
- stamping feet.
So it’s better to be a little nicer with them. Under natural conditions, all predators are higher than rabbit-like, so raising the eared eared up can greatly scare him.
How to pick up
This is especially useful for children. An interesting fact about rabbits will be that any careless gesture is almost perceived as an attack. At first it’s better not to pick up a pet.
Let the coward get comfortable and get used to it. What to do:
- Carefully pick up. The bones of the animal are very fragile, they can be broken.
- You can’t lift it by the ears - it hurts.
- Grabbing the withers is also not worth it. A rabbit can start to break out and hurt its neck.
It’s best to hold the furry creature in one hand and hold it with the other.
There are many different breeds of rabbits, but Angora is especially popular.
This group of breeds is distributed throughout Europe. The homeland is the city of Angora in Turkey. It is believed that the sailors took these furry creatures with them, and therefore Angora rabbits spread around the globe.
Interesting facts about these cuties:
- The length of the coat can reach 25 centimeters. From this, the animal seems much larger, although in fact this group of breeds is considered dwarf. And their weight ranges from two to seven kilograms.
- Russian scientists have developed a down breed of rabbits. They are able to survive in harsh frosty conditions.
- There are English, satin, French, giant, Germanic and downy rabbits. All of them are somewhat different. Germanic ones bring a large amount of fluff (about 1.5 kg per animal per year). The English breed is considered the smallest, its weight does not exceed three kilograms.
- Angora rabbits are most often found white, but there is another color (black, gray and with a bluish tint).
China is the leader in the production of Angora rabbit fur. The state produces almost eight thousand tons of fur per year. For such a volume, almost 11 million furry animals will be needed. But on one continent in the Southern Hemisphere, rabbits are a real disaster.
Rabbits in Australia
Due to their fertility and the absence of enemies in the natural environment, rabbits have spread throughout the Australian continent. These animals brazenly increased their habitat to 100 km per year. In order to somehow stop the capture of land by the eared, the Australians created the Great Barrier - a wire fence, the length of which was 3,500 kilometers.
But this did not work, the animals did a dig under the fence and spread further, safely acting on the nerves of the farmers, destroying the crop and vegetation. In the middle of the 20th century, the number of rabbits amounted to 750 million.
Once did not fight rabbits in Australia. Interesting facts indicate that even predators who were specially brought to the continent could not cope with this task:
These animals preferred to hunt for marsupials, and rabbits both spread and continue to spread, threatening to nullify sheep breeding in the country.
Eared animals were poisoned with chemicals, but this did not produce any particular results. An effective tool was the infection of specially bred mosquitoes with an infectious disease, which led to the death of almost 90% of rabbits. But the surviving animals gained immunity and continued to breed.
Today, the struggle with the eared disaster continues. Each year, these cuties eat so much grass that it would be enough to feed 25 million sheep.
To children about animals
Usually kids want their house to have a furry friend. Often the choice falls on cute eared animals.
After observing them, we can note some interesting facts about rabbits for children:
- rabbits are born with their eyes closed and without fur,
- the rabbit’s teeth are 28, they grow constantly throughout his life,
- the animal has 5 fingers on the forelimbs and 4 on the hind limbs,
- the heaviest rabbits weigh more than 25 kg,
- the rabbit’s eyes are designed so that he does not need to turn his head to view the terrain,
- only the feet sweat in the animals, so in the summer they can overheat,
- per minute, the rabbit is able to make 120 chewing movements and has more than 17,000 taste buds,
- if, when the owner appears, the rabbit rises on its hind legs, then he recognized him,
- a big-eared baby weighing 2 kg drinks as much water as a dog weighing 10 kg,
- the rabbit's mustache grows near the nose and around the face of the face, which helps to determine the distance to the obstacle in the dark and bypass it,
- eared pets mark the territory with their chin, they rub against objects, leaving a secret with a specific smell,
- the female, before the birthing, builds a nest from her wool, plucked from the breast,
- a medium-sized animal is able to eat such a volume of grass that it is possible to fill a pillow,
- you don’t need to bathe your pet, rabbits clean and lick their hair 5-6 times a day, and an unpleasant smell can only indicate that the animal is sick,
- hare-like ones distinguish only red and green colors and their shades.
When buying a fluffy, lop-eared animal, you should carefully weigh everything. After all, feeding, keeping and caring for an animal will require certain costs and time. It is worth approaching this issue responsibly so that then the owners and the pet themselves do not suffer.