Portal:Rabbits and hares

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The rabbits and hares portal

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Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha (along with the hare and the pika). Oryctolagus cuniculus includes the European rabbit species and its descendants, the world's 305 breeds of domestic rabbit. Sylvilagus includes thirteen wild rabbit species, among them the seven types of cottontail. The European rabbit, which has been introduced on every continent except Antarctica, is familiar throughout the world as a wild prey animal and as a domesticated form of livestock and pet. With its widespread effect on ecologies and cultures, the rabbit (or bunny) is, in many areas of the world, a part of daily life—as food, clothing, and companion, and as a source of artistic inspiration.

Scrub Hare (Lepus saxatilis) close-up (30544290256) (2).jpg

Hares and jackrabbits are leporids belonging to the genus Lepus. Hares are classified in the same family as rabbits. They are similar in size and form to rabbits and have similar herbivorous diets, but generally have longer ears and live solitarily or in pairs. Also unlike rabbits, their young are able to fend for themselves shortly after birth (precocial) rather than emerging blind and helpless (altricial). Most are fast runners. Hare species are native to Africa, Eurasia, North America, and the Japanese archipelago.

Five leporid species with "hare" in their common names are not considered true hares: the hispid hare (Caprolagus hispidus), and four species known as red rock hares (comprising Pronolagus). Conversely, Jackrabbits are hares, rather than rabbits.

A hare less than one year old is called a leveret. A group of hares is called a "drove".

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Rabbit jumping over a fence at a competition

Rabbit show jumping is a competition in which trained domestic rabbits leap over appropriately-sized obstacles. The activity began in the late 1970s in Sweden and was popularized in the United Kingdom following an appearance on the TV show That's Life!. Trainers and devotees can win titles and awards during events sponsored by groups such as the U.S. Rabbit Agility Association, Rabbithopping-USA, the American Association of Sporting Events for Rabbits, 4-H Club fairs, and other venues.

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A Standard Chinchilla eating a leaf
Chinchilla rabbits originated in France and were bred to standard by M. J. Dybowski. They were introduced to the United States in 1919. Apart from the Standard Chinchilla, there are two other breeds recognized by the ARBA: The American Chinchilla or "Heavyweight Chinchilla" is larger than the Standard Chinchilla but otherwise identical. The Giant Chinchilla is a result of crosses between Chinchilla and Flemish Giant breeds; it originates in the United States.

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James Stewart, referring to his 1950 film Harvey

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"Hare in the Snow" by Albrecht Dürer
Hare in the Snow (German: Hase im Schnee), an 1875 painting by German artist Ferdinand von Rayski. Rayski mainly gained a reputation as a portrait painter but he also produced animal and hunting scenes and military, historical and mythological paintings.


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A pet rabbit eating a vegetable


Did you know…

  • … that rabbits can be litter trained?
  • … that a pet rabbit can live longer than 10 years?
  • … that as of 2006 ARBA recognizes 47 breeds of rabbit?

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