Wild rabbits from Europe and Africa have given us the
pet rabbit we know today. People began domesticating
rabbits in the Middle Ages. They are known to be in
the United States as early as the beginning of the 1700s.
The Angora is one breed that is known to have been here
during that early time. By the 1800s, the Polish and
early Dutch breeds were in the United States as well.
In the twentieth century, the 1950s brought an expansion
in the number of breeds in the United States and growth
has continued since that time.
Rabbits are crepuscular, meaning that they are most
active at dawn and dusk; they sleep more during the
day and at night. As a result, it will be most natural
for your rabbit to eat at these times. Your rabbit also
want to play and exercise more at dawn and dusk.
Rabbits have a very light, fragile skeleton. Because
of that, we have to take special precautions to make
sure they do not become injured, especially when they
Rabbits, along with pikas and hares, are lagomorphs.
Lagomorphs are mammals that are similar to rodents,
but rabbits have a second set of upper incisors that
rodents do not have. This second set of incisors helps
wear down the bottom incisors as they grow. Of course,
to look at the rabbit and a rat, you would certainly
see many more differences. However, the teeth are the
major feature that put lagomorphs in their own group.
The scientific name of the rabbit is Oryctolagus
Rabbits have some other interesting features; for instance,
each eye has a field of vision of about 190 degrees,
which means that rabbits can see very well in front
of them, above them, and behind them. This is an especially
good feature for an animal that may be preyed on by
other animals, as they easily watch for any animal that
may be hunting them. Rabbits' eyes are much more light-sensitive
than human eyes. Their sensitivity to light is about
eight times greater than ours. Although we think of
animals as colorblind, there is some evidence that rabbits
may be able to see blue and green.