Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus0
Species: O cuniculus
Scientific name: Oryctolagus cuniculus
Common name: Rabbit, bunny, kit, or kitten. A male rabbit is called a buck, and a female rabbit is called a doe. A group of rabbits is known as a colony or a nest.
The European rabbit is about the size of a small domestic cat, with long ears, a small tail, large hind legs, and short, fluffy tails. Rabbits breed throughout the year, with adult females capable of producing 45-50 young per year. It has been introduced to New Zealand with devastating effects on local biodiversity. Rabbits compete directly with stock for grazing and reduce the amount of palatable pasture. Their overgrazing will increase the amount of bare ground and cause soil erosion. Rabbits can damage young plantation trees, horticultural crops and can damage residential gardens.
Rabbits move by hopping, using their long and powerful hind legs. To facilitate quick movement, a rabbit's hind feet have a thick padding of fur to dampen the shock of rapid hopping. Their toes are long, and are webbed to keep from spreading apart as the animal jumps. The rabbit is well-known for digging networks of burrows called warrens, where it spends most of its time when not feeding. Rabbits are altricial, the young being born blind and furless, in a fur-lined nest in the warren, and they are totally dependent upon their mother.