Resources for Reading

All About Rabbits: Social Creatures with Eyes on the Sides of Their Heads

by | Sep 29, 2022 | All About Animals

In chapter 22, Mo and Finchy meet Rex, an older bunny rabbit at a community meeting. While they both had seen rabbits before, they never had one as a friend and really didn’t know much about them. What do they eat? Where do they sleep? What do they do for fun?  

You may not know much about rabbits, either. For example, did you know that eating too many carrots, which are high in sugar, can give them a stomach ache? Or that they can jump over three feet high and 10 feet long?

All About Rabbits-Adventures of MoLet’s start off with some basic facts about these cute and fluffy animals:

  • Rabbits are NOT rodents. They’re actually classified as lagomorphs, rather than rodentia. Here are some key differences between them:
    • They have four incisors (or sharp teeth at the front of the mouth). Rodents just have two incisors.
    • They are herbivorous, which means they only eat plants, anything ranging from grasses and wildflowers to hay. However, rodents are omnivorous, which means their diet can consist of both plants and animals. Basically, they’ll eat almost any type of food you put in front of them.
  • They are social creatures and most want to be near other rabbits. They live in groups, in warrens, which is a series of tunnels and rooms that they dig underground.
  • A baby rabbit is called a kit while a female is called a doe, and a male is called a buck.
  • A group of rabbits or bunnies is called a fluffle.
  • Since their eyes are on the sides of their head, they can see in almost all directions at the same time. This helps them keep a close watch for predators. 
  • They can move or turn their large ears in half a circle (or by 180 degrees). This way, they can hear when predators are coming. Their ears also help control their body temperature. The blood vessels in their ears swell to help them stay cool when it’s hot outside and contract to help them stay warm when it’s cold.
  • A rabbit’s average lifespan ranges between five and ten years. But Ralph, a rabbit from the United Kingdom, lived until the old age of 17!

Perhaps if you ask Bugs Bunny, one of the world’s best known rabbits and cartoon characters, he would probably add that they are special in other ways. Here’s what he might say:

  • A rabbit’s teeth never stop growing! But they never get too long. Their teeth wear down as they munch on grasses, wildflowers and vegetables like carrots.
  • Like cats, they purr when they’re happy, content or relaxed.
  • They can give birth to up to 14 kits in a single litter.
  • They talk. In fact, they can make lots of different sounds, including: growling, screeching, chattering their teeth and even honking softly.
  • Rabbits love to play. Lots of things around your house, like paper towel rolls, can entertain a bunny.
  • Do, a rabbit in New Jersey, lived much longer than most rabbits. She passed away in 2013 at the age of 17!
  • The average weight of an adult rabbit is roughly six pounds, but don’t tell that to Ralph. He was a British rabbit that weighed 55-pounds and ate about $90 of food each week.
  • While cats and dogs need regular baths, rabbits should never take a bath. They tend to panic when in water and can fracture their spine or even a limb. Since their fur clumps together, drying them is difficult. When damp, they can catch respiratory infections like pneumonia and also hypothermia.
  • While it may be hard to resist petting or hugging a soft, fluffy rabbit, not all like to be held. They must trust you first, otherwise, watch out! You may get bitten.
  • Rabbits are crepuscular. That means they’re the most active around the hours of dawn and dusk. 

Almost Famous

Ever hear of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit? From 1927 to 1938, Oswald starred in 27 cartoons that appeared in movie theaters. But in 1928, Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse and Oswald’s luck as a movie star ran out.  

Many years later (in 2010), Oswald became one of the main characters in an online game called Epic Mickey. Oswald lives in a forgotten world where other cartoon characters like him live. But Mickey Mouse accidentally damages the world that must now be saved by Oswald and other forgotten characters. To this day, Oswald still holds a grudge against Mickey Mouse for stealing his fame. Would you?

Around the World

Rabbits appear in different countries and cultures in other ways: 

  • They’re part of the Chinese Zodiac. Rabbits and eleven other animals are each assigned different calendar years. If you’re born in any of the rabbit years, such as 2011, you are confident, strong, pay attention to detail, and would make a great scholar! Although you’re careful in your actions, you need surprises every now and then to shake things up. A plain and routine life is not your style.
  • The Easter Bunny that lays, decorates and hides eggs is also a symbol of new life. 
  • The White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland is a major character in the children’s classic by Lewis Carroll. The White Rabbit is the first animal Alice meets. He’s distinguished, wears a waistcoat and holds a pocket watch. He’s famous for the quote, “I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date!”
  • In ancient Greece and Rome, a carving of a rabbit was a love token. People gave it to women who wanted to conceive a child.
  • In Native American folklore, Nanabozho, the Great Hare (hares are a different species than rabbits, but in the same family) created the Earth.
  • Back in 1909, people who lived in North America (Canada, US and Mexico) believed saying “white rabbit” three times on the first day of the month would bring good luck. But in European folklore, it’s just the opposite. They believe rabbits are associated with witches and the moon, and bring bad luck.
  • This story supposedly is true but hard to believe: In 1726, a 25-year-old British woman made doctors believe she gave birth to a rabbit. But her husband later confessed to the medical hoax. Would you have believed them?

Do you have a pet rabbit? If so, email us at info@adventuresofmo.com about what you’ve learned about your pet and we’ll share it with other kids. Make sure to include your first name, age and state where you live so we can credit you for the post on Mo’s social media pages and/or website!