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Bunny Behavior

    Rabbits have many unique ways of expressing themselves. Though many people see them as just another small animal or even a rodent(they're lagomorphs), they are complex beings. Here is some background information on the pre-domesticated life of bunnies.

A Brief History

     Rabbits are part of the genus lagomorpha along with pikas and hares. They are not rodents. The rabbits we keep as pets are European rabbits and differ from their U.S. counterparts. European rabbits have elaborate social systems. They have a matriarchal society. Females rule the roost and are called does. Males are bucks. European bunnies live in underground burrows called warrens. These can be vast trails with designated "rooms" for, nesting, eating and waste. There will typically be many escape routes.

    Contrarily, our US cottontails do not burrow. They typically dig shallow nests or they may use the den of another mammal.  Though they may interact with other bunnies outside of mating, they are not known to have permanent mates.

    They are two different species and in the rare case that they mated, they could not produce any offspring.         

    However, they do share many similarities. Both species of rabbits are crepuscular--they are most active at dawn and dusk. When mothers are raising their litters, they typically only feed them twice per day. This is beneficial to cottontails in particular as they won't lead predators back to their nest if no one sees them going there. Remember, they have nowhere to hide. Mothers also need all the energy they can get to nurse and this allows them to graze when not at the nest.

     So, when were rabbits domesticated? We don't really know. They were first believed to be developed for their meat and fur. There are images from ancient Egypt thousands of years ago, and images from Syria 6000 years ago. They were even buried alongside humans in ancient Spain. For the most part, the breeds we currently see were all created in the last two centuries, with many being created post WWII(the rabbitries were bombed in the war, causing people to create new breeds). Click on the boxes below to find out more on bunny behavior.

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Learn all about Bunny Behavior and what it means.


Learn how to find the perfect partner for your pet.


Learn about how important it is to spay and neuter your pet.


Learn about rabbits' ability to be friends with other pets.

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