Dwarf Lop Rabbit

Oryctolagus cuniculus

Species Information

 

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This rabbit originated in the Netherlands and prefers open grasslands where they can construct burrows or forested areas.

 

They have thick, short bodies with short yet powerful legs, hence the name ‘dwarf’. They have long, ‘lopped’ ears which they can move independently and so can hear sounds from any direction from a long

distance and easily detect predators. These long ears also provide another function which is to help them cool off. They have a vast network of blood vessels in their ears where heat from the body can be given off. This is vital as they are covered in heat insulating fur and cannot sweat or pant. They also have excellent vision,

having eyes on the side of their head means they have widefield of vision including overhead, so they can spot predators from any angle including airborne birds of prey.

 

The eat grass, hay, the occasional vegetable, and other vegetation.

5-8 years. 

These rabbits are generally playful, loving rabbits however they do sometimes have a ‘stroppy teenage’ stage at about 2 years of age where they can temporarily become a bit more aggressive and  withdrawn. Females also often dig burrows where they can make a safe place for their babies to nest, whereas the male will defend the burrow against intruders.

 

This breed are no exception to the phrase; ‘breed like rabbits’. They commonly breed and have a gestation period of up to 31 days. There is a litter of up to 15 kits which then leave the nest after about 3 weeks. Then, a female rabbit can breed again, and also has the ability to carry two litters of kits at once, hence they can repopulate very quickly.

 

Least Concern

Rabbits sometimes jump up in the air while twisting and spinning around! This is known as a ‘binky’ and they perform this when they are feeling happy!