Old World Rabbit
Old World Rabbit
Morpheous and Pipkin (found in the Education Department)
10 yrs. (captive), 5-7 yrs. (wild)
Plants, fruits, vegetables, hay or grasses
Snakes, Birds, Mammals
Originally in southern France/Europe; now on every continent but Asia and Antarctica
Sandy hillsides with shrubs and bushes; Coniferous Woodland Forests
Rabbits have long ears, long hind legs and short, fluffy tails. Coat colors vary from gray to red and brown to black. The coat may also have spots or stripes. Although similar in appearance to rodents, rabbits are in a different order, Lagomorpha. Lagomorphs have 2 more sharp teeth than rodents do, which grow throughout their lives.
Nocturnal animals, rabbits may also be seen grazing in the early morning or evening. They live in large colonies with shared burrows. Rabbits are very good at digging and generally do not eat meat. Wild, male rabbits can be very aggressive! They spray urine on other males as a challenge for dominance. Often, these challenges lead to the serious injury or death of one of the males.
Rabbits have 6-8 young per litter (called kits, kittens or bunnies) after a gestation of just 30 days. The newborns are born in a special burrow away from the main colony. Rabbits may have 3-4 litters per year. Both females and males are sexually mature by 8 months.
ANIMAL FUN FACT!
Old World Rabbits are the only rabbits to be domesticated by humans.The Australian government tried to keep wild rabbits out of endangered ecosystems by building a 2,000 mile-long “rabbit-proof fence” in 1907. Unfortunately, the $694,000 was not well-spent, since rabbits can dig under fences.