- Category: Rabbit
- Created: Wednesday, 07 December 2016 16:17
One of the most common misconceptions about the North American rabbits is that they dig holes or burrows. While this is common for European rabbits it is not at all common for the rabbits that live in North America, save for the very small populations of European rabbits that have been introduced to the continent by humans.
Rabbits are often witnessed eating their feces. In actuality rabbits have both feces and a nutritional pellet that exit their bodies. They eat the nutritional pellet which is a part of their physiological system that makes up for their nutritional deficiencies caused by their diet.
Rabbits are nocturnal, most active after the sun sets. During the day you will find most all varieties of rabbits sleeping in hollow logs or thick, dense brush. If they are disturbed or frightened by a potential predator they will most definitively freeze in place. If they get the chance after this, they will run away in a zig zag pattern to evade a would-be predator. A cottontail can run at speeds up to 18 miles per hour if needed. Some scientists refer to this zig zag run as flushing. Another evasion technique is called slinking. This involves the animal moving low to the ground and placing the ears back to prevent the animal from being discovered by its predators.
Vocally, they make several sounds. Screams and grunts are common during mating with screams, grunts or squeals made to scare a predator away. Predators will vary based on location, but include, weasels, foxes, coyotes, owls, hawks, alligators and humans.
Giving birth to three (3) to four (4) litters per year leads to quite a hectic family life for the rabbit. Litters average three (3) for four (4) babies born about 25 days after copulation. No matter what the species, rabbit or hare, prolific breeding is a common trait. Sexual maturity is achieved quickly, around two (2) to three (3) months, in fact, as much as 25% of parents are actually still considered juveniles. Babies of both the jackrabbits and cottontails are born blind and helpless but grow fast! Their eyes open in the first week and they eat only twice per day.
Interesting, the mating rituals of the rabbits include a male chasing a doe until she looks at him. Then she punches or boxes at him. They will then crouch, facing each other and jump up to two (2) feet into the air!