Oryctologus cuniculusRabbits1

Family

  • Leporidae

Lifespan

  • Flemish Giant: 6-9 years
  • Lop Rex Hybrid: 8-10 years

Size

  • Flemish Giant
    • Length: 16-22 inches
    • Weight: 10-30 pounds, males being larger
  • Lop Rex Hybrid
    • Length: 15-22 inches
    • Weight: 3.3-5.5 pounds

Origin

  • The Flemish Giant breed originates from the Dutch/Flanders region in Europe
  • Our other rabbits are a hybrid of Holland Lop and Rex rabbits.
  • The last Ice Age confined the species to the Iberian Peninsula and small areas of France and northwest Africa, but due to human action and adaptability of this species, European rabbits today exist in the wild on every continent except Asia and Antarctica

Habitat

  • Grasslands and open woodlands

Diet

  • In the wild: Succulent plant matter
  • At the zoo: Purina rabbit chow, greens, produce, and hay

Reproduction

  • After a gestation of 28- 33 days, a litter of 4-8 kits are born inside the burrow or nest site.
  • One wild female rabbit may have up to 6 litters a year, but normally only 10-12 kits survive from each female every year.

Special adaptations

  • Rabbits have eyes on the sides of their head, allowing them an almost 360° view
  • Large ears help draw body heat away from the core, preventing over-heating during warm months
  • Large hind feet provide rabbits with a very powerful kick, which they can use as a defense mechanism, or to power large jumps when escaping predators
  • Rabbits, and many other lagomorphs, practice ‘coprophagy’ or the behavior of consuming fecal matter. This benefits them by adding bacteria to the digestive tract to aid in the breakdown of tough plant matter.

Interesting facts

  • Our Flemish giant rabbits are a large breed and prefer cool temperatures, often lying stretched out in snow banksRabbits2
  • Rabbits will “thump” with their back feet to communicate to other rabbits when danger is present
  • Rabbits live in large social units and dig an immense tunnel system, called a warren, if allowed
  • Lagomorphs possess a ‘peg tooth’ – a second pair of small incisors which lack a cutting edge found directly behind the large front incisors
  • Rabbits and hares are commonly thought to be rodents, but are in fact classified in a separate family

Conservation status

  • CITES –Not Listed
  • IUCN –Not Evaluated

Sources

  1. Animal Diversity Web. Accessed January 2016. http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Oryctolagus_cuniculus/
  2. Appendices I, II, and III of CITES. (February 5, 2015) Accessed January 2016. http://www.cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php
  3. Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed January 2016.http://www.eol.org/pages/327977/overview
  4. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. (2015) Accessed January 2016. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/search

**All animal information is meant to be an educational resource. It may not include all the latest scientific information. Though we edit our information we cannot guarantee the accuracy of all facts presented.