European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)


The European rabbit has many different adaptations that make it fit well into its environment.  The rabbit's eyes are set high on the head, and is complimented with a weak but very flexible neck which allows the animal to rotate its head.  These adaptations let the rabbit have a greater field of vision, which helps in spotting food as well as predators.  They also have strong legs that are made for running.  Rabbits can run up to 16 meters a second, with the ability to change directions relatively quickly.  The paws of the rabbits have claws in which aid in gripping the ground when running, as well as burrowing.


Another adaptation that rabbit has is the cecum in the digestive track.  This allows the rabbit to get nutrients from the otherwise indigestible parts of all the plants they eat.  As stated later in the nutrition section, the rabbits then defecate the contents of the cecum and eat it in order to absorb the nutrients.  The jaw of the rabbit is also adapted for a herbivore diet.  They have four incisors which are used to snap off parts of the plant.  In the back of their mandible, They have molars that are used for grinding the plants and getting them ready for digestion. 

One last adaptation of rabbits is that they reproduce rapidly.  More details will be provided in the page on reproduction.  The rapid reproduction of the rabbits is advantagous to the species because it is a way that the species can evolve relatively faster than most species to adapt to environment change.


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