Rabbits generally hop using a gallop-style gait, during which the back paws land together in pairs forward of and outside of the front paws. They use this gait whether they are moving quickly or slowly. Rabbits will also walk when carefully exploring a new area.Continue Reading
The rabbit's skeletal and muscular systems are highly adapted to this style of movement. Their spines contain elongated bones along the abdominal region, allowing them to flex and compress strongly while bounding. Their back limbs are much longer than their front limbs, with most of the length of the leg made up of the bones below the knee, the fibula and tibia. Attached to these bones and to the femur, the leg bone above the knee, are extremely powerful muscles.
In addition, the rabbit skeleton as a whole is light. It makes up, on average, 8 percent of an animal's weight, as compared to 12 percent for the similarly sized domestic cat. This reduction in weight makes it easier for the animal to get off the ground and move rapidly when in danger.
Bounding puts a lot of pressure on a rabbit's back, and because the skeleton is so delicate, rabbits are prone to fracturing spinal vertebrae.Learn more about Rabbits & Hares
Wild hares and rabbits live all throughout the world and can generally be found in dense forests, tundra and grassland regions. One common type of rabbit, the cottontail, is common in urban areas in North America. It is seldom found living in open grasslands or dense forests.Full Answer >
The natural habitat of rabbits largely depends on their species, but it includes meadows, prairies, deserts, farmlands, thickets, forests, wetlands and moorlands. The Eastern cottontail, the most common type of rabbit in the United States is often found on grassy fields and along the edges of woodlands and fields.Full Answer >
Wild rabbits mostly eat grass, hay, wildflowers, clovers, weeds and garden and farm crops during summer and spring. They settle for twigs, barks, buds, conifer needles and greens in fall and winter. Rabbits, both the wild and domestic ones, re-ingest their own droppings to absorb nutrients from undigested food.Full Answer >
Cottontail rabbits live in such areas as fields, gullies, brush piles, farms, crop fields, backyards and suburban areas. They also dwell in the abandoned burrows of other animals, such as woodchucks.Full Answer >