Rabbits are small to medium-sized furry animals with long ears and a hopping gait. They have big gnawing front teeth like rodents, but they are actually in their own group, the lagomorphs. Although they may enjoy an occasional carrot treat, their primary diet is grass or hay.
Rabbits and hares are classified together as members of the taxonomic family Leporidae, a subgroup of the rodent-like lagomorphs. Rabbits are distinguished from other lagomorphs by their short tails and long ears; unlike the very similar hares, they are born blind.
Rabbits live in a wide variety of environments, from the tropics of Sumatra to the frozen arctic wastes. Most rabbits in the wild have rather dull coats, though the Sumatran rabbit is one of the very few to have stripes.
Rabbits have been domesticated for use of their meat and fur and as companion animals. They are relatively small and can eat vegetable scraps, making them a good choice for farmers with little space for grazing. However, the natural diet of the rabbit is fibrous grass and weeds; overfeeding of starchy or sugary foods such as carrots and fruit can result in fatal intestinal illness.
Pet rabbits can be kept indoors and can even be litter-trained. They are somewhat delicate animals, so although they are a popular Easter present, they are not recommended as good pets for children and may get aggressive when cuddled or held.