European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)


Today, the rabbit has moved to all over Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and some countries in the Mediterranean. Oryctolagus cuniculus are found in temperate, tropical, and terrestrial habitats in the savanna or grasslands, as well as forests.  They can be seen in the grazing lands in the oceanic islands, as well as the dunelands and semi desert.  These rabbits prefer dry areas with softer soil for burrowing. They also tend to live in brushy fields because of the protection it offers from predators. 

Throughout central Europe, the rabbits have learned to coexist with humans in cities, making homes in local parks and cemeteries, even in resident’s lawns and gardens.

Rabbit burrow taken by abbeyvideoThe rabbits dig complex burrows, or warrens, that can range up to 3 meters deep and 45 meters long.  The main entrances have mounds of dirt around them; however there also may be numerous smaller openings with no mounds.  The main living chambers can range from  30 to 60 cm high.  One colony that was studied consisted of 407 rabbits, and their warren had 2,080 entrances to it.  This is a good example to just how large these burrows can be.  Because Oryctolagus cuniculus are essentially nocturnal, they come out of the burrows at night in search of food to eat, and return to them in the early hours of the morning.

The grassland biome is filled with different kinds of plants and insects, along with larger animals like bison and antelopes.  There are also the rabbit’s predators which include all different kinds of carnivores, including canines, felines, mustelids, hawks and owls.


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