A favourite pet for many British households, the rabbit is one of the most successful small mammals in the world. Large ears and eyes positioned high on each side of the head mean rabbits have excellent hearing and 360-degree vision, allowing them to perceive danger quickly and evade predators. Their elongated back legs also enable to reach impressive running speeds. Their feet are padded with fur that provide grip when running in various terrain.

In the wild, the rabbit’s natural predators are carnivores and birds, and they’re also hunted by humans for food and fur. Some species of rabbit, like the Volcano Rabbit from Mexico or the Amami Rabbit from Japan are listed as Endangered, whilst other more common species have healthy numbers. The European Rabbit is currently listed as Near Threatened because of the extent of recent declines across its native range.

Scientific name
Oryctolagus cuniculus
1-2 years (wild) 7-10 years (pets)
Fast facts
Rabbits have large ears that help them hear predators approaching
There are over 300 breeds of pet rabbit
More than half of the worlds rabbits live in North America
Baby rabbits are born blind and bald
Rabbits are different from hares which are larger and live above ground.
Conservation status
Near threatened
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