mammals of the family Leporidae

Rabbits are mammals of the order Lagomorpha. There are about fifty different species of rabbits and hares. The order Lagomorpha is made of rabbits, pikas and hares. Rabbits can be found in many parts of the world.[1] They live in families and eat vegetables and hay. In the wild, rabbits live in burrows, that they dig themselves. A group of rabbits living together in a burrow is called a warren. Rabbits are famous for hopping and eating carrots.

Temporal range: Late EoceneHolocene, 53–0 Ma
A small brown rabbit sat on the dirt in a forest. Its ears are small and alert and the tip of its nose, part of its chest and one of its feet are white.
European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)
Scientific classificationEdit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Lagomorpha
Family: Leporidae
Included genera

A male rabbit is called a buck, and a female is called a doe. A baby rabbit is called a kit, which is short for kitten. Rabbits have a gestation period of around 31 days. The female can have up to 12-13 kits, very rarely litters as big as 18 and as small as one. When the doe gives birth her babies are collectively referred to as a litter. Some people have rabbits as pets. Rabbits are also raised for their meat. Rabbits are of a different biological classification than hares.

Since rabbits are prey animals, they are careful in open spaces. If they sense danger, they freeze and watch. Rabbit vision has a very wide field, including overhead scanning. Their predators are foxes, wolves, coyotes, cougars, lynxes, cats, dogs, bears, raccoons, skunks, weasels, badgers, snakes, and birds of prey. People are also known to shoot rabbits, because they eat crops. Their escape method is to run for their burrow, where they are usually safe.

Rabbits have a complex social structure and, like dogs, they have a hierarchy. Rabbit ears probably have several functions. The main function is to give warning of predators, but they may be used for signalling, and temperature regulation.

A rabbit walking in the pet park

Rabbits as pets


In the wild, rabbits have plenty to keep them occupied, from foraging to reproduction to territorial defence. Captive rabbits,[2] on the other hand, often lack stimulation. This can lead to behavioural problems and poor health. Pet rabbits often live eight to twelve years.[3]


  1. "Irish Mammals – Rabbits". eircom.net. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
  2. "Data export". DAD-IS (Domestic Animal Diversity Information System). FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). 21 November 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  3. "How long do rabbits live?". Blue Cross. Retrieved 14 August 2023.